Effective next weekend, it will have been three weekends straight that our older kidster has chosen to stay on campus to attend an optional teacher training program (rather than come visit Mom and Dad), but just today I'm understanding why.
This very exciting training--which is being made available to pre-service and certified teachers, alike--is part of a project funded by NASA's Summer of Innovation (SoI) program, for which UT-Chattanooga's College of Education is one of many grantees nationwide.
SoI's function, their site says, is to "improve the skills and enhance the engagement of American students in STEM" by "strengthening the capacity of community- and school-based organizations that inspire and engage middle school students."
But it was the generosity of the training she attended yesterday that blew me away: At this week's event, which focused on robotics, each attendee received a LEGO Mindstorms Education NXT "base set" and software pack, valued at $519 (follow that link), and an "extension kit" enabling students to use the "base set" to build motorized vehicles. Wow.
So I had to ask: Are UT-Knoxville and/or Knox County Schools on this gravy train???
(And from the parents of this prospective teacher, thanks NASA!)
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