Robots Take Over Burgin . . . In The Classroom

Kaiden Lewis, Danie McCarty, Briggs Young, Landan Hamlin and Travis Kern watch one of the student made robots climb the steep incline in the 21st Century Essential Skills class at Burgin Independent School on Friday.

Jennifer Marsh

Herald Staff

jmarsh@harrodsburgherald.com

Burgin Independent School is preparing their students for technology with a variety of classes such as the 21st Century Essential Skills class taught by Travis Kern.

The class is centered around learning the six Cs: character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking through engineering and programming robots.

Students build robots from Legos that can be programed to perform tasks which increase in difficulty as the class progresses.

Recently students competed to build a robot to climb a steep incline.

“This class falls under a Proctor Grant. We were able to purchase the supplies to have teams of two work together,” said Travis Kern, guidance counselor and teacher of the class. “The class is project based and student led. The skills learned will hopefully help them be college and career ready.”

The class currently has 20 students enrolled and they all seemed quite excited to participate. Kern said the groups help each other to overcome obstacles.

“This class has a lot of teamwork and trial and error to it,” said Reagan Day, an eighth grader.

“We learn a lot of programming and it is fun to build the robots,” said eighth grader Brantley McKinney. “A lot of jobs include programming.”

Debra Moore and Lauren Glass paired up to improve their robot to play music.

LAUREN GLASS

“We made it play a song and it was fun. This class let’s you be creative with what you build,” said Moore.

The 21st Century essential skills class isn’t the only technological addition to the Burgin curriculum. AP computer science, principles of coding and integration of technology into library time for elementary students are also part of Burgin’s technological push.

Burgin has had technology classes in the past and plan to keep adding to their curriculum. UK funds an electrical engineering course and the school added Chromebooks for all high school students last year.

“We added a technology resource teacher this year, Emily Dart, to start working with the elementary school kids on Google classroom and the Chromebooks. The class is integrated into their library time,” said Principal Chris LeMonds. “In high school a new teacher, Laura Cummins, is certified in business as well as teaching, adding a new pathway called E-Commerce that combines business and technology.”

Burgin is hoping to add more kids into that pathway next year.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.

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