Butler students present robotics projects to BOE

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Board members and attendees of the Oct. 19 Board of Education meeting received a treat as robotics class students from the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program at Greenville Middle School, Georgiana School and McKenzie School gave a presentation of the robots the students have been working on. 

Marcus Burkett, STEM program specialist for the county under the direction of Career Tech Education (CTE) Director Rheta McClain, explained how each grade level is working with robot coding. 

“The robotics for first, second and third grade levels are working with robots that are already built, and they have multiple ways of coding those from just touching buttons on the top of the robot or using a coder, which looks like an iPhone, but bigger, and they slide these little strips of papers in and it tells the robot what to do and how to organize order,” Burkett said. 

Email newsletter signup

Burkett said the middle and high school students are taking block-based coding and programming to a different level by actually building their own robots. 

Butler County Superintendent Joseph Eiland said he is thrilled for the students involved in the robotics classes. 

“It was completely heartwarming, exciting and encouraging to see and hear students expressing their love for STEM programs such as robotics,” Eiland said. “It was equally pleasing to hear how our students love their instructors and anticipate going to school each day to learn and lead.”

Burkett said his dream is to continue working to begin the students at earlier ages in elementary at all of the Butler County schools so when the students reach high school they can program in more advanced tech languages. 

“If they learn these programming languages, the sky’s the limit for them with work they can do in college or to be hired without a college degree,” Burkett said. “Knowing how to program will open a lot of doors and opportunities for our students. That’s the ultimate goal, to introduce kids to the world of coding and programming, which is just another way to open up student’s brains for different experiences.”