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CMS teacher receives robotics grant

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Middle School teacher Mystie Posey has been awarded a $1,400 Alabama Robotics Grant Program as a part of the Alabama Math and Science Initiative.

She teaches Project Lead the Way computer science classes for seventh grade students.

Posey said she was excited to receive the funds, especially because she has not won a grant previously.

The funds will be used to purchase circuit board kits designed for students.

She hopes using the equipment will help her students see “I can do this.”

“A lot of times, I think our students just see what is immediately around them, they don’t see the bigger picture,” Posey said. “So, hopefully this will help them broaden their spectrum of ‘I can do this.’ ‘This is something that is available to me, I can see myself doing this in the future.’”

Posey said students will be building their own circuits with the kits and then be able to do specific projects.

“They (the students) can work with circuit boards, and they can program it to light in different ways on different patterns,” Posey said. “They are supposed to be able to program it to respond to sound, pressure … different things can set them off.”

The equipment will integrate with what students are learning about computer programming.

Posey will be able to purchase 40 of the circuit boards, which means each of her students will have one with a few extras for larger projects. More than one circuit board can be connected together for more complex projects.

As a part of the grant application, Posey wrote a summary of how she would be using the equipment in her class.

Posey said she will be attending training for the equipment in February.

The plan is to begin using the equipment next school year (fall 2020) for the physical computing portion of Computer Science Discoveries. Students will explore hardware, components and how smart devices work.

The final project will be for students to build “something from scratch with your imagination,” Posey said.