Willmore Elementary

2017 Winner: Small Schools 301 to 600 Students | Four winners, $10,000 each
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City: Westminster

School Type: Elementary

Principal: Nicole Jacobson

How They'll Use the Award

Willmore Language Academy is a Title I school focused on bringing equity in access to 21st century learning. We are proud to offer Spanish dual immersion and blended learning with 1:1 Chromebooks to our student population (75% English learners and 89% socioeconomically disadvantaged). Our next venture is to add computer science to our list of innovative programs. We plan to adopt a curriculum that will teach our students the language of coding to prepare them for the careers that await them.

Our mission is to create an innovation lab where students could apply their knowledge of computer science. With this grant money, we will purchase Lego educational kits to make STEM and coding come to life. Students will learn Next Generation Science Standards and Computational Thinking as they build, program, and modify projects. Because projects are collaborative, students will use their communication skills as they share their reasoning and revise their work. Younger students can begin this journey into STEM using the More to Math Set to build math problem solving and the Early Simple Machines Set to teach basic science concepts. Students in 2nd-4th grades can move onto the WeDo 2.0 Set, which merges engineering and robotics. Students will write lines of code and see their robots in action. Advanced student programmers will be further challenged with Mindstorms EV3 Set. Using this kit, students can create more intricate robots that can be programmed to mimic a myriad of behaviors and movements.

Our lab would not be complete without accompanying technology. A class set of tablets will be needed to see each project come to fruition. Furthermore, the space will need to be transformed with furniture and shelving to create a workspace suitable for creation and innovation. This will be no ordinary classroom; this will be the place of engineers and scientists, of creative minds. Please support our goal of bringing computer science education to our students.