Early Education Grant Provides STEAM Learning for Jewish Day Schools
The David Lear Sulman Fund provides over 50% off research-based KIBO robot kits
This initiative includes curriculum and two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational technology platforms, KIBO and ScratchJr. Students use these tools as they explore themes in the Jewish holiday cycle while expressing their ideas and understanding through building, coding, and art activities.
With the KIBO Robot Kit, children build, program, and decorate robots with age-appropriate tangible manipulatives, using no screens or keyboards. The free ScratchJr app introduces coding skills to young children who program their own interactive stories and games on a PC or tablet.
The STEAM program integrates coding and computational thinking through six Jewish holidays—Sukkot, Chanukkah, Tu B'shevat, Purim, Pesach, and Yom Ha'atzmaut—and was created as a collaboration between Professor Marina Bers of Tufts University and Jewish educators from orthodox, conservative, and reform day schools and supplemental schools. Through a six-unit curriculum, young students use STEAM concepts and tools to tell stories and integrate Jewish themes and customs expressively.
Rose-Jane Sulman, director of the David Lear Sulman Fund, said, "Our goal is to improve Jewish schools by improving their STEAM education. We want our children to be the leaders of the future, and to do that they need to understand how to create with and use technology. Those who can create with technology will have the strongest voice in the future."
Mitch Rosenberg, CEO of KinderLab Robotics, added, "Partnering with the Sulman Fund was an easy choice because their mission complements ours: to provide age-appropriate STEAM experiences to our youngest learners and empower them to express themselves and their culture. We are excited to see young students use KIBO, decorated with arts and crafts, to bring Jewish holidays to life through storytelling. Coding truly is the new literacy of the 21st century."
Current research shows the importance of introducing STEAM learning in early elementary grades to develop computational thinking, confidence, collaboration, and individual expression. Research shows that even the youngest students can learn sequencing and coding in any subject if it is presented in a fun and engaging way. Positive learning outcomes for young learners who work with robotics include improved sequencing ability, mastery of foundational coding, and improved computational thinking with concrete tools.
For more information on the Limudei Code-Esh Program, visit https://kinderlabrobotics.com/
About KIBO – The Playful STEAM Robot
KIBO is a robot kit that allows children aged 4–10 to build, program, decorate, and bring their own robot to life without requiring any screen time on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. With art and building, students transform KIBO into imagined animals, vehicles, storybook characters, and more. When children create their own robot, they perceive it as play, but they are learning invaluable STEAM skills. Not only are these hands-on experiences inherently rewarding, but they help children understand the technology in their world and can even improve their future job prospects.
About the David Lear Sulman Fund for Computing, Science and Engineering
In honor of her husband David, an engineer who loved creating and building products and who also strongly believed children were not being adequately educated in science, computing and engineering, Rose-Jane established the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science and Engineering Fund. The goal of the initiative is to reinvigorate Jewish day schools and transform education so that students become engaged in computing, robotics, coding, and engineering. For more information, please visit sulmanfund.org (http://www.sulmanfund.org/
About KinderLab Robotics
KinderLab Robotics is the creator of the award-winning KIBO, a playful educational STEAM robot kit based on 20 years of child development research with thousands of children, teachers, and parents. Developed specifically for teachers by Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers at Tufts University, KIBO is currently used in 60+ countries and has proven efficacy in helping kids learn STEAM—and getting them excited about it! KinderLab offers a complete suite of teaching materials that help integrate STEAM elements into a wide range of curricula, including art, cultural studies, and reading literacy. For more information, please visit https://www.KinderLabRobotics.com.
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