Robotics Workshops Provide New Tools For Wyoming Teachers

Jul 18, 2016

One of the participating teachers.
Credit Liam Niemeyer

Teachers from across Wyoming took part in programming and robotics workshops on the University of Wyoming’s campus this month to learn about new ways to teach students.

During the two-week long event called “UW RAMPED,” 30 teachers learned about miniature computers that can be used in the classroom and how to program robots of different sizes. Teachers also got to interact with a human-sized robot named Baxter.

“We wanted them to experience what faculty that are doing research experience. So they were immersed in a project that faculty and researchers were already working in,” Organizer Dr. Andrea Burrows said. “So they could come up with their own questions and explore those questions.”

Burrows said displaying the results of university-level research to teachers across the state could help inspire them to show their kids what science can do.

The idea for the workshops came from a partnership between the University of Wyoming and the Natrona County School District, which was looking to improve and grow STEM curriculum in their schools. The workshops were funded by a federal grant called “RAMPED” which supports education in robotics and hard sciences like physics.