Available Sessions
Additional Sesions will continue to be added over the next few weeks

4-H STEM Challenge kits (Free CS resource)

James Fountain · Alabama 4-H at Alabama A&M University

Explore STEM activities provided in the "4-H STEM Challenge." The kits offer exciting lessons and are inexpensive and easy to use. Previous years' challenges are also free to download. Learn how to access and utilize this awesome resource in your classroom, afterschool program, workshops, clubs, and more.

Sponsored by EZ-Robot

Best Practices for Teaching Robotics in Middle School & High School

Dennis Kambeitz · CEO, EZ-Robot

Robotics and AI will redefine the workforce over the coming years, and graduates with high-tech literacies will have a significant advantage across all industries.
This presents a unique challenge when building a robotics program at the secondary school level - how do you provide a meaningful technical education while ensuring that you're engaging a large percentage of students? In this session we will:

· Discuss why it's important to maximize student engagement in robotics and coding education.
· Provide insight into a few common misconceptions that lead to low levels of student participation in robotics programs.
· Share strategies for dramatically increasing enrollment within your robotics and coding programs, while simultaneously providing a high level of robotics and coding education.

You won't believe the impact that these strategies will have on your students.

Code with Colors and Ozoblocky: Introduction to Ozobots

James Fountain · Alabama 4-H at Alabama A&M University

In this session we will explore the two ways we can code using Ozobots and a variety of cross curriculum lesson ideas using computer sciences and robots.

Code Your Drone

Bobby Brian Lewis · Bibb County School

Explore how drones can be used for coding. We will explore how STEAM can be used and examples of drones being used in real life. Participants will explore many different drone courses. Participates will design a drone course and explain how coding can be used in the course. Harness the power of drones in your classroom.

Sponsored by Firia Labs

Codebot: Level-Up Student Engagement with Python Coding & Robotics Fundamentals

David Ewing · Firia, Inc.

Designed by Firia Labs right here in Alabama, CodeBot is an exciting hardware platform that’s custom made for teaching robotics fundamentals using the Python programming language. This session will give you a brief overview of CodeBot’s capabilities, then dive into some real-time Python coding using the CodeSpace online environment. Session attendees will learn a bit of Python along the way and experience the ease-of-use that makes this one of the best ways to introduce coding and robotics to your students.

Sponsored by VEX Robotics

Coding Starts Early with VEX 123

Audra Selkowitz · VEX Robotics

VEX 123 is an interactive, programmable robot that takes Computer Science and Computational Thinking off of the screen and brings them to life. For kids just entering school, teaching with VEX 123 is about providing students a new way to express ideas, communicate with their friends, and to learn math and literacy in new and exciting ways. Teaching CS is fun and easy with VEX 123. With this hands-on workshop, you see how Teaching CS with VEX 123 also provides students exposure to the thinking skills that will help them become creators— as opposed to just consumers — of technology in a world that's increasingly influenced by the manipulation of bits and bytes.

Edison: Don’t Doubt this Little Power House!

Robert Mayben · Alabama Technology in Motion

The Edison is a low-cost, ready-to-use, programmable robot for learners in K-12. This powerful little robot can be programmed with blocks or text, has built in sensors, and can be used with LEGO blocks!

Facilitating Elementary STEAM Lessons Using VEX VR

Jessica Williams Ward · University of Montevallo, TRIO Upward Bound Programs

Join this workshop to learn how to make your STEAM lessons more engaging using the VEX VR platform. Instead of having your students use paper and pencil to draw a triangle, why not use a virtual robot to draw it instead?! In this workshop you will engage as a learner to explore the VEX VR platform and use the robot to complete a STEAM task. You should leave the workshop with a better understanding of the VEX VR platform, and with a few lessons and resources to use in your own classroom.

FIRST Robotics Overview & Team Case Study

Jamie McClung · Fort Payne High School

Not every student is a musician or interested in sports. However, there are many students that need an avenue to showcase their talents. Let's explore the different FIRST robotics programs and what they have to offer. As we discuss the programs, hear about the journey of the Chairman's Award winning team, the Gigawatts.

Fostering Supportive Environments for Women in STEM

Laurel Shugart · Fort Payne High School

This session is designed to encourage attendees to foster functional, supportive spaces for young women in STEM to thrive through unlearning previous biases, recruiting a range of diverse young women into STEM, and overall supporting young women as they face the challenges of breaking the glass ceiling.

Hosting an Elementary Robotics Camp

Candice Longnecker · Pike Road Intermediate School

Join us as we share lessons we learned through using VEX Go, VEXcode VR, and VEX IQ to host our first Introduction to VEX Robotics Summer Camp this past summer. We will also explore resources that empower us to create camp experiences where learning is fun, problem solving is an adventure, and creativity and collaboration foster team building.

I Got the Grant, Now What?

Heather Spradlin · Marshall County Schools

This session will give a timeline and detailed resources that will guide new coaches through the difficult first year after receiving a robotics grant or starting their first team. The resources include sample parent letters, sponsor solicitation letters, fundraising ideas, tryout tasks, and detailed interview and application processes for forming a team.

Sponsored by REC Foundation

Industry Certifications

Leslie Cruse · REC Foundation

The REC Foundation provides two industry certifications (Pre-Engineering and Robotics) for schools, students in engineering related programs, and robotics clubs. These certifications were designed by a team of accomplished professionals composed of engineers, college professors, and high school teachers.This Program is a response to a global need for more students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Sponsored by VEX Robotics

Introduction to the VEX V5 Workcell

Lauren Harter · VEX Robotics

This session will provide teachers with an opportunity to explore the V5 Workcell and the free resources available to support it. The session will show teachers how to get started with the V5 Workcell in their classroom by highlighting the Get Started page, as well as the V5 Workcell STEM Labs that are the curriculum and activities used to teach building and programming concepts.

Sponsored by REC Foundation

Kit to Competition with the REC Foundation

Leslie Cruse · REC Foundation

This presentation will discuss the many of the classroom and competitions offered by the REC Foundation. We will be discussing VEX GO, VEX 123, VEX IQ, VEX V5, RADC and FAC.

Learn LEGO Ev3/Spike Sensors- Hands On

Clark McClung · Fort Payne High School

Come explore the sensors for LEGO EV3 and Spike Prime robots. This session will have access to a robot and programming software so that you can learn first hand how to employ these sensors in fun and challenging ways. This a great chance to have fun and learn some new skills.

Learning with LEGOs: Beyond the Robots

Robert Mayben · Alabama Technology in Motion

There are numerous possibilities for using regular LEGOs or other inexpensive building blocks to create engaging learning experiences for students. In this innovative design session, participants will explore strategies for teaching literacy, writing, critical thinking skills, and more with LEGOs.

Sponsored by EZ-Robot

Maximizing Girl Engagement in Robotics & Coding

Dennis Kambeitz · CEO, EZ-Robot

Across North American middle schools, average girl enrollment in robotics programs is typically under 10%. At the high school level, it averages less than 1%. Given the impact that robotics and AI will have in the workplace, this is truly a crisis. In this session, Dennis will reveal strategies that have proven to dramatically increase girl engagement in robotics and computer science programs. Schools that have implemented Dennis’ strategies have consistently seen girl enrollment in robotics and coding courses increase by an average of more than 1000% with some high schools seeing unprecedented increases - up to 45% of all girls. These strategies have proven to be effective across all demographics of students, regardless of prior experience or levels of academic ability.

Sponsored by EZ-Robot

Preparing Your Students for a Robotic Future

Dennis Kambeitz · CEO, EZ-Robot

Forecasts show that between 20% - 40% of all jobs will be eliminated by technology over the coming decade, and the World Economic Forum is projecting that more than 54% of people will need significant up-skilling to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving workplace. The implications reveal a need to dramatically enhance the high-tech education that ALL our students are receiving. In this session, Dennis will:

· Detail how robotics and AI will impact all industries
· Discuss the most common reasons that schools see low overall enrollment in robotics
· Provide actionable steps you can take to enhance the robotics and coding programs within your school.

Teaching DLCS through Robotics

Sharon Mumm · Brookwood Forest Elementary School

After a brief overview of Alabama's Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards, participants will be invited to take part in 4 stations: Computational Thinking Using Beebots, Innovative Designer using Makey Makey, Computer Analyst with Dash and Dot and Coding Skills with Scratch. Participants will work through all stations with a reflection at the end.

Starting From SCRATCH

Catherine Kenny · Pike Road Schools

This session is designed to help educators empower their students to engage with computer science as a vehicle for creativity, problem solving, digital collaboration, and fun. Introducing students to computational thinking and programming with Scratch is ideal because it uses an easy to understand programming language but still contains advanced logic and fundamental programming elements.

Sponsored by VEX Robotics

STEM Starts Early with VEX GO

Alaina Caulkett · VEX Robotics

Young students are natural scientists and engineers. They love to tinker, explore and play. With VEX GO, we are able to tap into student’s natural curiosity and reach them before they begin to form negative stereotypes about their proficiency in math and science. And VEX GO makes this easier than ever before. This hands-on workshop with VEX GO will allow you to see how easy it is to build, code and teach STEM with VEX GO.

Surviving and Thriving a Vex Program in the Elementary School

Sharon Mumm · Brookwood Forest Elementary School

Information will be presented about growing a Robotics Program in the Elementary School. Topics such as the application process, obtaining equipment, parent participation, structure of a club meeting, building and recording, attending events and hosting events will be discussed.

Tips for Coaching a World Championship Vex Team

Rob Harlan · Sanford Middle School

Receive insights into methods used with rookie robotics teams to prepare them for local, state, and world championship competitions. Topics include practice schedules, lab or practice area setup, budgeting for travel and lodging, ways to get sponsors and help for your program, how to deal with reluctant school administrators and school boards, helicopter parents, etc.

Sponsored by Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Underwater Robots

Tina Miller-Way · Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are robots used in aquatic environments and are an engaging and effective hands-on student STEM activity. Over the past decade, Discovery Hall Programs at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab has developed a robust ROV program that includes a field-based class, two technology camps, two international ROV competitions, a teacher workshop, a DIY build guide, and a new loaner kit program. This session will discuss how ROVs engage students and can help address gender disparities, provide information on how to bring ROVs to your students and give participants the opportunity to build and fly a ROV!

Using VEX GO in the Classroom

Bruce Zutter · Ogletree Elementary School

How do you use VEX GO in your classroom? One teacher shares his experience piloting VEX GO in a 4th grade classroom last spring and his plans for this year. Included will be tips on how to organize materials and the use of teaching plans supplied by VEX robotics to meet student needs.

VEX Robotics Trailer Program

Terry Ayers · Wallace State Community College

Learn about Alabama's VEX Robotics Trailer Program, including equipment available, contract overview, costs for the trailer rental and setup/breakdown requirements. Includes a walkthrough of a trailer and the equipment included with rental.