Andy Fell, UC Davis
With many K-12 schools closed nationwide, teachers and students can now get free access to tools for online learning in mathematics and computer science from the Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education, or C-STEM, at the University of California, Davis.
The California Department of Education has told school districts to plan for distance learning, said C-STEM Center Director Harry Cheng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis.
“With our partners, we are stepping up to this unprecedented challenge by providing many of our resources free of charge to schools and districts,” Cheng said.
Available tools and resources include the RoboBlockly visual programming tool for kindergarten through 11th grade and the C-STEM Studio suite of tools and software for grades five through 11. The C-STEM software is designed to work with hardware including Barobo Linkbot robots, Arduino controllers and Raspberry Pi computers but can also be used with “virtual” robots and hardware.
The center also provides videos and webinars to help teachers learn how to use these tools for teaching their students remotely.
The C-STEM curriculum provides students with 13 years of hands-on integrated math and computer science education from kindergarten to 12th grade. The curriculum complies with Common Core standards in math and computer science and also satisfies A-G entry requirements for the University of California and California State University systems. The curriculum has been adopted by schools across California and nationwide.