Excellence for All (Coding + Robotics)

Excellence for All (EFA) is an initiative to expand access to rigorous curriculum and enrichment experiences for students in Boston Public Schools. As part of this initiative, Northeastern University is working directly with the Mendell Elementary School to provide a robotics experience for fifth grade students. Currently in its third year, the robotics sessions take place once a week per class, for the last 1.5 hours of school. Fifteen weeks of individual lessons are followed by a science standards-based student project, culminating in the students’ participation in the Boston Robotics’ Olympics.

This year, rather than using the Mindstorms software, of which the Chromebook version has very limited functionality, we are using MakeCode for Mindstorms, which is similar to Scratch, which the students are learning in grade 4 coding. This browser-based software is entirely free: you can access it at: https://makecode.mindstorms.com/.

The EFA robotics/programming schools are: