Virtual #StepintoSTEM experience provides engaging, gamified learning focused on real-world application; Title I teachers can access extra six-month access to the CoderZ curriculum
Starting August 1, CoderZ will once again bring a real-world industry perspective to computer science classrooms through the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge. In this free, three-hour virtual learning experience, students develop basic computer science skills while discovering the ways that goods are delivered at Amazon. This year’s #StepintoSTEM challenge provides teachers access to resources that make instruction simple for them, regardless of their computer science background.
The Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge transports students to a virtual Amazon warehouse where they practice coding, computational thinking, and computer science. Students collaborate with their friends through hands-on, gamified, and mission-based activities, which involve coding an Amazon Hercules robot. In addition, they meet students interning at Amazon as well as real engineers who are using STEM and computer science skills every day. Participants who share the activity on social media will be sent a teacher goodie bag.
“Last year, 120,000 students received access to the program. The feedback from teachers was exemplary, so we want to see that number grow during these essential back-to-school months,” said CEO of CoderZ, Ido Yerushalmi. “Our mission this year is to introduce 200,000 more students to the interdisciplinary skills that STEM develops, including future-ready skills, SEL, and more. As always, we recommend the challenge for grades four and above.”
Yerushalmi continued, “The challenge makes a great bonus unit for any STEM/computer science class or curriculum because it vividly connects computer science learning to the real world. Students can take part in free, complementary activities such as virtual field trips to Amazon warehouses to see STEM in action and talks with real engineers who use STEM skills every day. All of that will make it easier for students to envision a STEM career for themselves.”
“When we teach coding, we provide students a skillset that helps them see how they can get to that big goal. Cyber Robotic Challenge powered by CoderZ provides the most real-world, interesting, and creative prompts that require students to use their individual level of computational thinking and problem-solving strategies to unpack and answer,” explains Amy Thorpe, who recently used the challenge with her middle school math students.
The Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge can be broken into four, 45-minute or three, 60-minute lessons for any class (Introduction to Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, science, math, etc.) and is aligned to CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards. Teachers can review standards alignment in the provided teacher manual after creating their CoderZ account.
As an extension to the challenge, Amazon Future Engineer is providing 1,000 Title 1 teachers with free access to CoderZ’s virtual robotics learning modules for the 2021-22 school year. “Our goal is to help those teachers bring computer science to over 100,000 students,” said Yerushalmi.
After completing the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge, Title 1 teachers can move students onto one of CoderZ’s more advanced coding modules. The coding journey can continue via CoderZ’s comprehensive offerings such as CoderZ Adventure for elementary students, Cyber Robotics 101 and Cyber Robotics 102 for middle school students, and the Python Gym course for students in grades seven through 12.
Interested teachers can apply here and will have access to CoderZ’s curriculum for free. Teachers may request the use of different courses for different classes if they teach varied grade or ability levels.
For more information about the Amazon Cyber Robotics Back-to-School Challenge, go to https://gocoderz.com/amazon-cyber-robotics-challenge.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.