STEAM Programs

STEAM Programs

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education provides an avenue for formally teaching the inter-relationships of how subjects relate in real-life.  STEAM education can be enjoyable and meaningfully delivered in more engaging and deeply embedding ways within the already well-established realm of education, because it aims to bring functional literacy to all.   

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Through our STEAM programming, we are exposing our students to alternative ways of learning. The Dash and Dot robots are an integral part of Best of the Batch Foundation’s after-school STEAM club. Students utilize various Wonder Workshop apps through Foundation iPads to control Dash and Dot, programming the robots to interact with each other and their surrounding environment. The Wonder Workshop apps begins at the most basic level, which we utilize with our 1st-3rd grade students. Within this simplified app, younger students are asked to drag different pictures together to create a sequence of movement for Dash and Dot to complete an in-app task. In the more advanced version of the Wonder Workshop app, students use a form of block coding, called Scratch, to more accurately direct Dash and Dot through different challenges. In addition to the coding challenges, students also use the robots to casually play, organizing robot dance battles, obstacle courses, and using the Wonder Pack expansion set to play songs with Dash on the xylophone attachment. With all forms of activity involving Dash and Dot, the Foundation observed students of various ages solving problems together in a positive and productive way.

Dash and Dots

STEAM Challenges

Students also build problem solving skills through different STEAM “challenges”. These challenges are structured to teach students through hands-on activity. Within these challenges, students are given a limited amount of materials and time to solve a problem or complete a challenge. For example, during one of our challenge activities, student groups were tasked with building the tallest structure by just using a box of toothpicks and a bag of mini marshmallows. By participating in these STEAM challenges, Best of the Best Foundation strives to nurture students’ unique skill sets that allow them to learn in alternative ways. 

Kano Computers

Additionally, with Kano Computer kits, advanced STEAM club members are given the opportunity to build their own Raspberry Pi computers. Once computers are assembled, students use the skills learned from Dash and Dot’s block-coding based curriculum to code their own computers and complete the pre-programmed Kano coding challenges. Students enjoy the freedom to create, play, and learn at their own pace on a piece of technology they are able to build themselves!

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Geek Squad Academy

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Geek Squad Academy is dedicated to teaching students in a fun, interactive learning environment about the latest in technology. Students are taught block coding through interactive play with BB8 robots, design and architecture as they digitally design their dream house, make their own music through GarageBand, and learn the basics of website programming and design through hands-on activity. 

For our 4th through 7th grade participants, this is often the first exposure to interactive technology. With lessons that relate back to the academic classroom, participating students are able to apply the alternative learning skills of Geek Squad Academy to enhance their studies.

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