Meet the Wunderteacher: Heather Meek!
This is our first interview in our "Meet the Wunderteacher" series. We have a fantastic and engaged user community across the globe, and we're thrilled to put the spotlight on their outstanding work in the classroom!
Today we have the pleasure of talking to Heather Meek (HM). Heather participated in our Wunderteacher pilot and utilized Robo Wunderkind across different grades and subjects.
👋 Hello Heather! Let's start with a short introduction:
HM: Hey, Howdy! My name is Heather Meek, and I'm the Instructional Technology Coach at Ellis Elementary in Prince William County. I work with all teachers and students in grades K - 5 to utilize technology in the most efficient, creativity expanding, and voice empowering ways.
That sounds like a fantastic job! What is your favorite part of using Robo Wunderkind in your school?
HM: My favorite part of using Robo Wunderkind was watching how easily students of all grades took to the design element and the app use. Every group I worked with made a working vehicle within a 45-minute introductory lesson.
You have integrated Robo Wunderkind across many grades. What's the most surprising use for Robo Wunderkind you've seen?
HM: I really loved how a 1st-grade teacher incorporated it into language arts. The class had an author study of Mo Willems. Students had to create a pigeon that could stay upright while moving. If successful, the pigeon got to drive the bus!
What has been the most helpful in building your confidence using Robo Wunderkind?
HM: The weekly mentor sessions were a huge plus! Robo Wunderkind is truly a hands-on tool: Having a teacher kit to play with made a huge difference in getting to know the robot and the app.
How do you plan to use Robo Wunderkind in the future?
HM: I am most looking forward to seeing all of the new ways students develop in the design process with the blocks. Going beyond the "I'm a robot" to be able to create fantastical creatures and machines for active story-telling and mathematical problem-solving.
Why do you love being a STEAM educator?
HM: I love being a STEAM educator because I inspire wonder, empower students to solve real-world problems and promote creativity and exploration.
We're very passionate about helping today's students realize their potential. What is your vision for the 21st century learning?
HM: I want to empower students to reach and expand their potential. I want to see them be able to utilize technology as a way to communicate globally where their voice can be heard. I want to prepare them to be creative and compassionate members of society.
STEAM is so versatile. If you could realize one STEAM project, what would you do?
HM: I wish the students at my school could take a portion of our school property and create a community garden where we were able to provide free, fresh, organic vegetables for all of the families in our area.
Without a doubt, the pandemic was a massive challenge for education. Can you share your best advice to engage your students coming back to school?
HM: The one thing that the pandemic did take away was the ability of low-income schools to provide hands-on opportunities. Now that we are back to being in person, handing students the materials to create and design is the best engagement opportunity.
How would you describe our tools if a colleague asked you about Robo Wunderkind?
HM: I would say that I love this robot/coding opportunity because the pieces used to engineer and build are not restrictive to fine motor skills. They are large and easily maneuverable by small and big hands alike. Students can make instant connections to programming because of the blocks' deliberate color coding, making it an amazing experience for non-readers. The app offers three levels of interaction so that all future coders can interact with their creations in a way suitable to their current development and understanding.
Heather, thank you so much for your time! It is so great to have you in our Wunderteacher community, and we can't wait to see what Robo projects will be next at Ellis Elementary! If you want to connect with Heather, feel free to reach out to her on Twitter: @themeekmoose
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