Robotics and coding now an option in the Saskatchewan curriculum

Across Saskatchewan, students from Grades 7 to 12 may now see robotics and coding become part of their practical and applied arts classes, due to the province’s launch of a new course curriculum.After running a year-long pilot project in 18 schools, the Ministry of Education has released a curriculum for a new class called Robotics and Automation for Grades 10 to 12. Parts of the curriculum can be modified and brought into existing Grades 7 to 9 practical and applied arts classes.Marc Gobeil, a co-ordinator of learning services for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, said Bethlehem Catholic High School was one of the pilot schools.“Everything we’ve seen suggests that students love it,” Gobeil said, noting students had the opportunity to design and 3D print their own robots, then code them to battle one another and go through a maze.“It’s already kind of expanded, so this year they’re doing a (Grade) 10 course as well as a 10/11 split, and we’ve also expanded to Bishop Murray High School as well as E.D. Feehan Catholic High School.”Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Gobeil said he is pleased to see robotics and coding integrated into the curriculum with a hands-on approach, and said the division is hoping to expand the program to all its high schools in the near future. Work is also being done to pull parts of the high school classes into existing practical and applied arts classes for Grades 7 and 8 students.“We feel that’s kind of a great combination between a computer science … and practical and applied arts, which is really hands-on, so it’s a really good combination of those two worlds,” he said.“It’s definitely a class where when I walk in I can see huge levels of engagement. I think we’re probably just at the beginning stages of seeing a real kind of growth in this area.”Related Regina students taking unique robot to international competition Thom Collegiate robotics team represents Sask. in world competition The Robotics and Automation curriculum was created as part of the provincial government’s 2017 commitment to grow students’ opportunities to learn coding skills. With the government’s recent renewal of practical and applied arts, it was also recommended that a curriculum for this type of class be created, said Susan Nedelcov-Anderson, assistant deputy minister of education.Nedelcov-Anderson noted some schools across the province were already running their own locally developed robotics and coding courses.Schools in both Regina and Saskatoon have been doing just that. Regina Catholic Schools spokesperson Twylla West said many of the division’s schools already have elements of robotics and coding worked into their programming, and that teachers have responded well to this. Veronica Baker, spokesperson for Saskatoon Public Schools, said the division has been running its own pre-engineering class at Bedford Road Collegiate and electronics class at Walter Murray Collegiate for several years already.“Because there was such interest in the locally developed courses, that’s when the reference committee made the recommendation to use those courses as the base to create provincial offerings in this area,” said Nedelcov-Anderson.The new course’s curriculum is flexible, so teachers can decide to focus on one particular area over another, depending on what students are interested in.“We’re always wanting to ensure that we’re providing students with relevant and engaging curriculum that reflects the world around them and the future,” she said.lgiesbrecht@postmedia.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *