Incline Middle School Robotics

Program Partners:  Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology, AAUW Tahoe Nevada, Rotary Club of Incline Village and Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline 

Incline Education Fund (IEF) was awarded a $50K grant from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) for new equipment for the robotics program at Incline Middle School. Funding also came from the local chapters of the American Association of University Women and both of the Incline Rotary groups.

The success of the earlier IEF laptop drive (see the IMS 1:1 Tech program) provided an opportunity to scale-up the robotics program at Incline Middle School. Robotics and computer science teacher, Kevin Edwards, wanted to find a way to engage his students in a post-pandemic classroom and teach them real world skills. This STEM curriculum is offered both as an elective class and an after-school Lego Robotics Club. Additionally, with support from the AAUW and local Ridgeline employees there is now an in-school “Girls Who Code” club.

Students exposed to robotics can solidify their STEM skills in middle school and build the foundation they need to succeed in the new Incline High School (IHS) Engineering & Entrepreneurship program.

Robotics and coding lessons are aligned to the Nevada Academic Content Standards (NACS) for Computer Science. The curriculum allows students to choose the focus of a computer science project that addresses a real-world issue. Students work on developing their engineering design skill processes (communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking) as they create a final, hands-on capstone project that must be presented to an authentic audience.

This program is designed to appeal to not only “robotic nerds,” but to also connect with students who typically shy away from STEM classes but are interested in hands-on creative projects. 

Their first successful project was a Holiday Light Show that was timed to music and staged outside the local Nevada Jane’s restaurant. The display received an Honorable Mention in the IVCBA Northern Lights Contest.

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