Northwest Local Schools spark student interest in STEM fields with first-ever robotics competition

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Northwest Local Schools may have found the secret to getting students excited about mathematics as they host the district's first-ever robotics challenge Monday morning at White Oak Middle School.

Student teams from Colerain Middle School, Pleasant Run Middle School and White Oak Middle School will compete against each other in fun coding and robotics challenges.

"I think it's fun that the robots are moving and how cool they always are," said White Oak eighth-grader Hayley Rohr.

"When you move them, it takes it to a spot and then it pulls up the graph, and it'll show you how fast the bot moved, where it moved and all the statistics of it," added Rohr's teammate, eighth-grader Chris Weldon. 

Northwest Local Schools started a coding and robotics curriculum this year based on a California model. It's the first use in Ohio.

"The data shows that our students are improving," said Leslie Silbernagel, curriculum supervisor at Northwest Local Schools. "Not only that, our kids are learning to collaborate, problem-solve, communicate with others."

Additionally, Silbernagel said students are gaining a desire to pursue future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 

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