Bus full of robots engages kids in science

Sep. 14—Caldwell County Schools now has a traveling science, technology, engineering, and mathematics lab in the form of a big, blue bus.

The "Code on the Go STEM Bus" will travel throughout the county's schools to give students the chance at innovative and hands-on STEM learning.

Inside the STEM bus are robots for K-12 students, maker space challenges, and technology that will allow students to be immersed in virtual and augmented reality activities. The bus features over 25 workstations and has an awning for an additional outdoor area.

The bus was purchased through funding provided by the Coding and Mobile App Development Grant Program launched in 2019 with funding from the N.C. General Assembly. Caldwell County Schools was one of 16 districts across the state to receive the grant.

The grant-funded project totaled $46,970, which contributed to the purchase and renovation of the used school bus. A portion of the grant also funded districtwide training sessions for middle school teachers to implement computer coding courses within the current curriculum, according to a press release.

Amy Philyaw, the school system's STEM director and grant coordinator, said, "Code on the Go STEM program is an innovative program designed to provide Caldwell County students the opportunity to learn computer science, coding and mobile app development that will help them gain key skills in high demand in the 21st century economy."

"The focus is on empowering students to create and contribute — not just use and consume — in the digital economy and to actively engage as informed citizens in our complex, technology-driven world," she said.

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828) 610-8721.

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721