Tippecanoe School Corporation
Burnett Creek makes coding connections
Sue Scott

“You’re so cute, Stewart!” exclaims third grader Andrew Ferguson as he watches the modular robot’s lights turn red as if it’s embarrassed by all the attention. Stewart is one of several new coding kits Burnett Creek Elementary School teacher Hannah Dunbar received as part of a Partners in Education grant from Evonik Corporation, Tippecanoe Laboratories. 

“We have a circuit roller coaster, maze, Spheros and more,” says Dunbar. “The students love getting to use these items and learn how to code them.”

Student Natalie Ilyuk says her favorite is Spheros, a small robotic ball: “It makes me feel really good when I am able to program it to do what I want it to do.”

“I like the circuit maze because I like how it is challenging and it is easy to tell if you get it right or wrong,” says classmate Alexa Kilgus. “It also has different challenges and can make different colored lights. It is challenging and really fun at the same time.”

Dunbar says students thrive on the hands-on experiences, work collaboratively and gain insight into engineering and computer fields: “Computer Science is an ever growing field, and my goal is to get them exposed, in a positive way, to this advanced field, as it could help them decide if they are passionate about STEM as a career.”

For now, Stewart appears to be the class favorite with the way he makes noises and interacts with the students. “I like being able to drive him around, but it’s really funny when he sings and dances,” says Andrew.

Student working with Stewart, the robot
BCE student works on a robotic kit
BCE students work on circuits