Rural high school students show how tech savvy they are

21st Century skills are important for kids graduating high school today, and one rural school is teaching them to students at an early age.

Bradyn Modine is a sophomore at Alexander Public School in Alexander, ND, and he takes a robotics class called Tetrix.

“I hope it gives me a better insight to engineering, because I want to go into the engineering field when I graduate,” said Modine.

His class (six students) recently constructed a Mars rover robot called, Stretch Armstrong. 

Earlier this month, the robot finished fourth in a tournament called First Tech Challenge.

He and his classmates even got an opportunity to show the robot to Governor Doug Burgum in  Bismarck, ND last week for the K-12 Technology Showcase.

“He(Burgum)thought it was pretty cool when I was making it dance left to right,” said Modine.

At Alexander students like Modine take part in STEAM classes daily from Kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade.

Leslie McDonald, the superintendent Alexander Public School, said the school has been a pre-K through 12th grade STEAM school for 5 years now. 

She also said, “Our Science program for kindergarten through 6th grade is STEAM based(daily) and then once a week they have robotics,. . .7th through 12th grade is a daily course in both Science and Robotics which are both STEAM-based curriculum”.

Brieanna Yancy, who is a sophomore, said the STEAM program at Alexander is unique.

“With other schools, it’s an after-school activity. . . and here it is integrated as a whole into the school. We have a specific class, which is really cool”.

At Alexander kindergarten, kids learn how to Code on programs like Scratch JR, and by the time they are the high school they are building robots.

“Currently we get preschoolers that see this big huge robot, and they ask when do we get to do that,” said Alexandria Brummond, Alexander STEAM, and Robotics teacher.

Brummond also said kids today are using technology every day in some form or another and most jobs require people to be tech savvy

“Having them bring in Coding and robotics at such an early age, it’s a way to bring it into our everyday lives, so we are not clueless when we get older,” said Yancy.

Modine said his parents are impressed with what he is doing at such a young age already.

They think it is the coolest thing ever, especially my dad”.

The sophomore also he’s looking to improve his skills and build a bigger, better robot next year.

McDonald said Alexander has a little more than 260 students.

 

 

 

 
 
 

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