Oxford on Rideau Tech is aimed at teaching the kids of Oxford on Rideau Public School and anyone else in the North Grenville community interested, the basics of robotics and code.
We're currently at Oxford on Rideau Public School one day a week on a bi-weekly rotation. We offer Computer Science (CS) based sessions, which combine CS concepts and working examples of current board curriculum, to all the children at Oxford on Rideau P.S., free of charge. We have also assisted other local schools with introductions to the Hour of Code™ (code.org). For the future, we're hoping to open our doors to other children and adults in the community who wish to learn about code and robotics (Fees and Time Slot TBD).
We started, quite honestly, out of desperation in an attempt to save our school. On September, 2016 the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) released a draft report, proposing to close 29 schools. Oxford on Rideau public school, located in the heart of North Grenville, Ontario, was one of the 29 listed. Roughly 600 schools in Ontario were proposed for potential closure due to the Ontario Ministry of Education's new funding model. The UCDSB was in a tight spot, but we were determined to save our school. Many presentations to the board later, we were grasping at straws on what ideas we could use to make our school stand out and, perhaps, boost enrolment. On a seperate, unrelated outting one night we picked up a Sphero SPRK+ robot from Best Buy for the girls to have an educational "toy" to play with. After getting SPRK and checking out the Sphero website we decided maybe teaching kids code could bring something different into our little rural school. At first, we sort of shook off the idea and put it to the back burner. A week or so later while driving home we were talking with our oldest daughter (Addyson, 8 at the time) why the school might be closing and how we were trying to think of ideas to attract kids to the school. She responded with "why don't we bring Spark (the name they've given SPRK+) to school and I can teach younger kids how to use him"..........ok kiddo, you've grabbed our attention, so we ran with it. March 2, 2017 we presented the idea to the board and the rest is history.
Don't think you can learn code? Not sure it's even that important? Why not try, you'd be surprised how simple, fun and empowering it can be! Watch this (video from code.org )