We are proud to announce that Landon Woollard from Shasta High School in Redding, CA is the first student to finish the CS2N ROBOTC student certification!
Mr. Brian Grigsby teaches the 2-hour per day, 5 days per week Career Technical Education Space, Science, and Engineering class at Shasta High School. Mr. Grigsby states, “[In this class,] we combine engineering principles with the VEX system with science exploration through NASA data programs (like the Mars Exploration Student Data Teams and the Student Planetary Investigator program) to emphasize how STEM related disciplines work together in our world.” As part of the curriculum he has incorporated CS2N.org and the ROBOTC certification, along with the physical part of building and programming. Students taking the class get lab science and elective credit for the University of California A-G requirements. The class also satisfies their computer proficiency for graduation.
Mr. Grigsby and Landon were nice enough to answer some questions for us…
What ways has the ROBOTC certification program and CS2N helped you reach your teaching goals?
Mr. Grigsby: It has allowed me to have another measure of student understanding and assessment to my course. By including ROBOTC certification, I am able to know how much the students truly understand about programming and where they need extra help.
Can you explain how students have responded to CS2N and the curriculum?
Mr. Grigsby: The students had been trained in the area of building and testing physical robots, so adding CS2N into the mix gives students another outlet to experience programming. They can also design programs and test them on the virtual robots before they test it on their physical robot. If there are any problems with motors, encoders, or other parts to the robot that are causing problems with their programming, they can go to CS2N and the Robot Virtual Worlds to make sure their programming is solid. Then they can troubleshoot their physical robot, and learn how to better engineer what they have built.
What is your favorite part of ROBOTC?
Landon: My favorite part of the ROBOTC course was the creativity required. The creative freedom allowing the accomplishment of various tasks is something that isn’t found in very many classrooms today, and really made it fun and challenging.
What did you find to be the most challenging part of learning ROBOTC?
Landon: What I found to be the most difficult part in learning this language was my previous coding knowledge in Java. I frequently found myself trying to implement many Java keywords into my ROBOTC code and trying to use methods from the
Java API, which the compiler didn’t like.
What does it mean to have a ROBOTC Certification?
Landon: To me, the ROBOTC Certification means better opportunities. As a student who wishes to study computer science and software design in college, this class and certification course was an excellent opportunity to further expose myself to the coding aspects of computers. Also, having a physical documentation to show to college admissions will set me apart from every other student, hopefully increasing my chances of acceptance.
Landon’s classmate, Marisa Kuntz, was the first female to finish the certification a few weeks later. We want to congratulate Landon and Marisa, as well as Mr. Grigsby!
To find out more about the ROBOTC student certification, visit:
Note: This is one of the first schools to work through our ROBOTC certification. We are slowly rolling this out to all teachers and students, through CS2N, in the very near future. Check back for more details in the next few months!
Written by Cara Friez
March 6th, 2013 at 1:25 pm