We continue to get to know some of our fabulous STEAM teachers. Today we’ll introduce you to Beth Herz. Beth is is teaching Coding and Robotics classes at The STEAM School, and also leads the Yoga and Board Games electives.
How did you first find out about the STEAM School?
BH: I learned of the STEAM School through its founder, Elena McIntosh. Our paths had crossed a year or two before, and I learned through a Facebook posting that she was starting a cooperative school. I went to a meet up to learn more about it but decided at first not to participate. We were comfortable in our routine, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to change it. About three months after the meetup though, I learned of the Coding and Robotics class being offered. My oldest son has a strong interest in robots so we decided to come on the day that the robots class was offered. We were almost immediately pulled in by the sense of community we received from the school, and by the next semester, we were fully involved all three days.
How have you been involved in the past, and what role(s) are you filling this year?
BH: Previously, I have assisted and lead in the nursery. Last semester I filled in as the Coding and Robotics, and Kindergarten teacher, and led the Handworks and Book Club electives. This year I will be continuing as the Coding and Robotics teacher, and leading the Yoga and Board Games electives.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at STEAM?
BH: Seeing the kids share knowledge with each other. Whether it’s sharing how something works or how to draw a character, it’s always gratifying.
What is your background/experience with the topics you’ll be teaching?
BH: My background is not in tech! I filled in to teach Coding and Robotics out of necessity in spring of 2019. My children are fascinated with robotics and I wanted to ensure this class remained available. I also knew just a little bit of how the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits worked from filling in as an assistant teacher when needed. Over the past semester and summer, I’ve learned quite a bit more about how the kits work and found many resources offered through Lego and Scratch Jr for how and why to teach kids robotics and coding.
Any sneak peeks you can share about what the learners in your class might be working on this semester?
BH: This semester we’ll be using more of the tools offered through the Lego WeDo 2.0 app. We know how to build the robots and we know how to code the robots. There is a Document tool that we haven’t utilized yet. My hope is that by utilizing this tool, students can more easily record their processes and share what they learn with each other.
Tell us a little about your personal interests/hobbies.
BH: I like to read fiction, and enjoy doing handcrafts. I’ve crocheted for almost 20 years and have just picked up cross stitch and embroidery over the past year. I occasionally practice yoga and play guitar.
What is one goal you have for yourself and/or your students in this school year?
BH: One goal I have for myself and my students is to become more familiar with, and comfortable using, the vocabulary of coding and robotics.