Carteret Receives $20,000 Grant Towards LEGO Robotics Program from Verizon Foundation

Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman joined with the Verizon Foundation to announce that the Carteret School District has received a $20,000 grant. The grant will assist an after-school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program focused on programming skills and LEGO robotics at the Nathan Hale Elementary School. The school demonstrated a specific roadmap to launch and accelerate a STEM program that would incorporate experiential learning. Nathan Hale Elementary School teachers will be trained on the effective use of mobile technology to help increase student achievement and create more personalized learning environments to help students succeed. The school was deemed eligible by Verizon Foundation via predetermined criteria.

The instructional program will include hands-on problem-based activities utilizing LEGO robotics. The program curriculum will challenge students to collect sample data and make inferences from graphs and statistical evidence. The curriculum is rigorous with the application of investigative reasoning, applying mathematical problem-solving techniques in real-world situations.

Students will apply geometric principles as well as discrete math when programming robots to perform various procedures. They will be given real-world problems addressing area and measurement as well as computer coding.

“We are happy to announce that by working with the Board of Education we have been able to secure this grant towards a STEM program,” said Mayor Reiman. “The potential growth and expansion of this model is limitless.”

75 students in grades 3 through 5 will be selected for this 12-week LEGO robotics program. The curriculum will focus on assembling and programming LEGO Robotics. Training will be provided to teachers implementing the curriculum as well as to the 25 students from each grade using LEGO Robotics. Monthly competitions will be held to measure the success of the program.

“We are excited about how the grant will help expand our program offerings for our gifted and talented students,” said Rosa Diaz, the Assistant Superintendent of the Carteret School District. “The funding will allow the district to create a challenging and innovative educational program fostering student inquiry, problem-based learning, and creativity.”

In addition to providing students with experiential learning, the Carteret School District anticipates to create a cohort of teachers trained in robotics. Based on the program outcome, it may be replicated in the other two elementary schools in the district.

“Study after study has shown that students who participate in afterschool programs such as this have higher test scores,” said Marty Murray, Board of Education President. “The start of the LEGO Robotics Program is a big step towards improving our schools and helping students utilize their full potential.”

“Verizon is proud to support the education system in Carteret,” said John Szeliga, the External Affairs Field Director of Verizon. “We will continue to use our resources in helping set up targeted programs where they are most needed.”

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