Audra Gans ’16, M.A. in Teaching, received an Innovative Teaching Grant to pursue her project, Coding Robots for Everyone.
Audra Gans noticed gaps in educating young people to enter computing sciences. “For example, in Oregon, only 13 percent of computer science graduates are females,” she said.
To combat the problem, Audra proposed a Coding Robots for Everyone project, and she won an Innovative Teaching Grant. The grant funds will support the purchase of Wonder Workshop Dash and Dot robots. Bridgeport Elementary students will learn to code while they make the robots sing, dance and navigate around the classroom. In so doing, the students will learn how computers work, and why coding is important.
Once the program is underway, Bridgeport students will participate in competitions, such as the Annual Wonder League Robotic competition.
“Developing basic computational thinking skills encourages a way of thinking that can help children in every area of life,” Audra noted. “It’s my hope that our most underserved students will have the opportunity to learn computer science skills, making the playing field more equitable for all.”
Audra Gans earned her M.A. in Teaching from Marylhurst University in 2016. She teaches second and third grades at Bridgeport Elementary School in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. Audra also serves on the Marylhurst Department of Education Consortium as co-chair.