- Career & Innovation
Cherry Hills Village students learn geography with robots, project-based learning
Third-grade students at Cherry Hills Village recently took a tour of the world, without ever leaving their school. Students programmed Dash robots to travel across a large-scale map of the world that spanned the entire room.
This project helped students practice their navigation skills, learning to read the compass rose and how to use latitude and longitude markers. The project was made possible by support from the district’s project team, which partners with schools to bring single- and multi-day hands-on projects to increase engagement. The team brings different areas of STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math) to life through robotics, Lego derby tracks, tornado cubes, and more.
“The students get so excited when they get a chance to learn in an interactive way,” explained Randall Berkheim, elementary project technician liaison. “We have so many different kinds of learners and giving them a chance to engage in a way that is meaningful to them is so important so they can develop an identity as a lifelong learner.”
“We love working with the project team,” said third-grade teacher Tiffany Hengel. “They are in classrooms all over the district and come with great ideas and help me take risks and try new things. The students get so engaged with these kinds of projects.”
Students in Hengel’s class recently created travel podcasts as part of their exploration of the world and geography, presenting different countries and places with the aspects students appreciated about them. As students navigated their robots across the floor, they laughed and worked together to find the answers to questions on their worksheet.
Third-grader Vivien Howerton enjoyed the lesson, explaining that she enjoyed getting to learn more about robotics.
“I like that you get to program the robot and make it move,” Howerton said. “It’s cool to be able to make that happen.”
“I love learning this way,” added third-grader Elliott Kientz. “It makes it fun. I love learning about new things and figuring it out."