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Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
October 10, 2017

I am Michael Wittig, the new STEM instructor at Mendenhall River Community School. This is a new position, and I am a new teacher - even if I myself am not very new - and it is a very interesting subject to teach.

I get to use technology as my tool, the T of STEM, and right now the item that has caught every student's attention is a little line following robot called an ozobot. Ozobots have the ability to follow lines on paper or on an iPad, but they can do even more! They can identify certain colors, and when ozobots pass over certain sequences of color these act as instructions, causing the robots to perform various actions. They can also be programmed either with an iPad or on any computer to perform additional tasks, thus offering our older students an introduction to coding.

I am also helping to coach MRCS's three robotics teams this fall, in the First Lego League Hydrodynamics Challenge (December 9 at Centennial Hall, mark your calendars!), as well as teams from Auke Bay and Floyd Dryden. I have been coaching robotics for several years, and I am pleased to be bringing that experience to MRCS.

Please check this site regularly for updates. I plan to do a lot with my students!
Printable Ozobot Alphabet Map
Printable Ozobot Alphabet Map
In the absence of other instructions, when an ozobot comes to a line intersection it randomly chooses which way to go. Because of this it tends to wander a lot, coming to a stop only when the line ends or a code tells it to stop or the battery gives out.

For our primary grades, I have developed an ozobot map that I believe will help with forming letters and words. The ozobot is used in this case as a random letter generator, moving at random until it stops beside a letter. This map can be used in many ways depending on the literacy skill of the student, and links the use of technology with the literacy standards for primary grades.
Printable Ozobot Number Map
Printable Ozobot Number Map
Another fun map for the Ozobot is this number map. It can be used by every grade in a variety of activities that reinforce core mathematics standards.

The photos in these map backgrounds come from the collection of Robert Russell Wittig, my grandfather. He was a newspaper photographer for many years and preserved thousands of slides and negatives depicting life in middle America in the middle of the twentieth century.