FIRST® things first: Are you ready?

Posted by Preston Frazier on April 13, 2019

Top 7 things you need for FIRST® Champ

“Remember, if you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
– H. K. Williams

Will you be traveling soon to the FIRST Championship in either Houston (April 17-20) or Detroit (April 24-27)? You might be a spectator watching from afar or a fan sitting in the stands supporting your favorite robotics team. But even more exciting, you might be on one of the competing FIRST Tech Challenge teams that has made it all this way. If so, congratulations! That’s something to celebrate.

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Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, ROBOTICS, Collaborations, FIRST Tech Challenge, Technology, Social and emotional learning, TETRIX Robotics

Coding in elementary: Tackling 21st-century needs begins with TagTiles®

Posted by Patty Cooke on March 25, 2019

Educators just make things happen. All of you use your resources, aren’t afraid of new things, and love nothing more than new ways to get students thinking and doing. And it’s no secret we aim to put engaging products and solutions in the hands of eager educators who use them to empower students. This is the essence of our daily work.

So, when we had the opportunity to pilot KUBO, a plug-and-learn robot for elementary students, into nine classrooms across the US, we jumped at it!

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Elementary School, ROBOTICS, Collaborations, STEM, Coding, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning

Big Book 2019: Free resources, new products, and inspiration for your classroom!

Posted by Anna Gudde on January 18, 2019

Ready to add some new and exciting to your classroom resources? YES.

Want free resources too? Y-E-S!

Well, we’re here to serve. The 2019 Big Book catalog has been officially released with new products and more resources at your fingertips!

We encourage you to take note of #ThisIsSTEM on the cover. If you follow us on social media, this might look familiar. It’s a hashtag we’ve been using for almost a year now to help redefine and celebrate STEM education.

Pitsco has always been a STEM company, but we also feel compelled to make sure we’re championing all that STEM really is. Yes, it’s science, technology, engineering, and math. But, it’s so much more. It’s the confidence a student builds when they finally nail a concept or skill. It’s when students work together and really figure out how beneficial collaboration can be. It’s helping students improve their problem-solving and communication skills through project-based learning. Those “soft skills” or 21st-century skills” that are trending right now – that’s what STEM is and can be.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, ROBOTICS, Collaborations, STEM, Resources, Coding, Activities, 21st Century Skills

STEM, ecosystems, and workforce development

Posted by Ruthie Muller on November 12, 2018

What is STEM? Yes, it’s a group of letters that could stand for science, technology, engineering, and math. Or, if you are a part of the STEM East Network, STEM stands for Strategies That Engage Minds. No matter your definition of STEM, we’re all on the same page: STEM skills, and the dispositions that come along with acquiring those skills, will project students into the future. After all, students are the future workforce, and if schools and business join together, the result can be the closure of the skills and interest gap.

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Topics: ADMINISTRATION & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Collaborations, Trends, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, WorkKeys, STEAM, Workforce Development

Using inquiry-based learning in your elementary classroom – including coding education

Posted by Natalie Vanderbeck on November 10, 2018

Inquiry-based learning isn’t a new idea in education. While writing my master’s thesis, I studied science classrooms that utilized inquiry-based learning vs traditional teacher-led learning. To be certain we’re all on the same page, let’s define inquiry-based learning: “a student-centered approach where the instructor guides the students through questions posed, methods designed, and data interpreted by the students. Through inquiry, students actively discover information to support their investigations” (Edutopia).

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Elementary School, ROBOTICS, Collaborations, Technology, Coding, Social and emotional learning, Hands-on Learning, Inquiry-based Learning