Academy for Young Writers – Robotics Math Course

About the Practice

• Robotics/computer programming course
• Based on success with robotics mini-course in February of 2013 and after-school robotics program
• Daily course that will count as a math credit for students
• First quarter Lego Mindstorms robots with NXT programming language, second quarter TETRIX robots with RobotC programming language
• Curriculum based on Carnegie Mellon University Introduction to Robotics Engineering
• A mix of 9th-11th graders
• Students completed a survey to gauge interest in the course, open to any student who has passed IA Regents (in place of Geometry)
• Starting in February 2014
• Co-taught ICT class, 24 students, ~6 w/IEPS, ~50% male

Connections to ESI and CRE Goals

Target Population/Total Students:
• 24 students, ~6 w/IEPS, ~50% male
• 9th-11th grade
• Targeted to students who have expressed an interest in robotics/computer programming and/or have not had success with traditional math classes


  • Reconciling programming/engineering course with the Common Core
  • Acquiring and maintaining robotics kits and computer software

How did school overcome challenges?
• Math department chair was able to integrate Common Core with Curriculum based on Carnegie Mellon University Introduction to Robotics Engineering
• We were able to acquire robotics kits through ESI funds
• Robotics kits are stored in math department chair’s classroom. A math special education teacher co-teaches the robotics course for extra student support.

How did you evaluate that this practice was effective?
• Comparing attendance, credit accumulation, and GPA from participating students’ last semester (without robotics) and the present semester (robotics)
• Monitoring in-class assessments
• End of course student survey

How will you continue to sustain this practice?
As we have already acquired the robotics equipment, we will continue to sustain this practice by keeping it as a math course option for students. We hope to expand the course to 2 separate daily periods, so that we can double the number of participants. Additionally, we hope to also expand the course to our middle school.