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Clarkson University K-12 Robot Store Moves Off Campus

You might be wondering what exactly The Robot Store is and how it helps K-12 schools and students. The Robot Store is a STEM business that works to help K-12 schools to meet their technological needs. The store has been working out of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, but the business has been growing so much that it’s outgrowing it’s space on the Clarkson campus.

“That’s why they’re moving into the space downtown, which includes a large room for classes, storage for robot kits, and a machine shop to allow high school students and college mentors to work on competition robots,” according to the WatertownDailyTimes.

CEO Amanda E. Clapper, “who’s been involved in team robotics since high school, said while volunteering in Clarkson’s robotics mentoring program, she and her business partner Benjamin D. Baumgardner found that the need for STEM education help was outpacing what program volunteers with the college could provide.”

It’s a prime example of how positive the effect of mentoring can be for students in grades K-12. It is a way for students to find themselves in constructive after school activities, in an environment where they have all of the tools at their fingertips. It also gives college students a way to fulfill mandatory volunteer hours.

“We noticed that the volunteer hours that Clarkson could offer could no longer meet the demand of the community for having STEM,” said Mrs. Clapper, a village resident who graduated with a degree in engineering and management from Clarkson, according to the report.

“So with a professor there, and with the Shipley Center, we decided that the best way to do it would be to have a company where we could, after graduation, funnel the students from the local colleges who are interested in this effort and have them stay local.”

Students who volunteer their time are responsible for instructing younger students on how to build and use robotics equipment, 3-D printing equipment, and give teachers useful tips that they can use in the classroom. It’s a pretty smart model, and don’t be surprised if more of these sorts of programs continue to pop-up nationwide.

Read the full story here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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