By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Southborough – On Feb. 10 students in Jen Turieo’s fifth grade class at the Margaret A. Neary Elementary School were treated to a fun hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experience from Snapology. Snapology activities encourage social skills and teamwork, while teaching science, technology, engineering, art, math and literacy concepts.
Kevin Tahmoush, from Snapology’s Hopedale, Mass. location, came to Turieo’s class with LEGO brick kits for the class to build robotic machines using engineering principles such as programming and coding.
“One of the things that we like to do is offer our services to schools to get a feel for what we do and how we do it for the community and for the kids to get exposure, so we ran a social media contest for a free hour of STEM class,” Tahmoush remarked.
“Max Tolander’s mom Kim Tolander nominated our class on a Facebook contest on Snapology’s Facebook Page and we won,” Turieo further explained.
“We do a number of STEAM related programs and this one is really robotics and coding – they put together a LEGO robot and then they will do some block coding,” Tahmoush added.
Turieo said that once the students finished building their LEGO robots they use Bluetooth to connect to the program on accompanying iPads to get them to move.
Snapology does this type of program with children as young as kindergarten age. They want to expose them at an early age to hopefully spur a lasting interest in STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) related programs.
Turieo’s class of nineteen students worked in pairs, each assembling a kit. Many of these students have had previous experience with coding and LEGO robots through after-school programs.
“The kids were really excited…they are all very engaged in the project,” Turieo noted.
Tahmoush then took the lesson one step further by teaching the class how to go into their program and modify the coding to change what their robots could do.