Robots teach Montana's youth through STEM Billings - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Robots teach Montana's youth through STEM Billings

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Billings businesses partnered to teach local children about science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun way: through robots!

Jamie Nixdorf of STEM Billings said about 180 kids from around the region traveled to Meadowlark Elementary to be a part of the organization's robotics event Saturday.

"The kids get so excited, registration filled up within 24 hours," Nixdorf said.

During STEM Billings Robotics, kids ranging from grades 3-8 were divided into groups to experience several hands-on robotics projects for several hours. Activities included building hydraulic robots and turning soda cans into robots.

Meadowlark 5th grade teacher Amy Leffler led students in a Sphero robot demonstration. The Spheros are controlled through an app, and teach students everything from coding, to angles, and other math skills as they operate the spherical bots.

"It increases their math ability, their reading ability, their language skills, and just their interest in learning," Leffler said.

Leffler said her coworker, Cindy Hanchett, helped her bring Spheros into her classroom a few years ago, and since then the robots have continued to allow her to get students engaged and excited about learning.

"If we didn't support programs like this, I would have kids that i'm not able to reach," Leffler said.

The Billings Police Department's bomb squad also demonstrated their explosives robot. Exxon Mobil, School District 2, and City College of MSU Billings are among sponsors of the event aiming to help provide fun learning opportunities for the future of Montana.

For more on STEM Billings and upcoming opportunities to get involved, you can visit http://www.stembillings.org/

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