Equipping students with skills for the future in Norway
In over 35 Newton Rooms across Norway students are learning the skills that they’ll need in their future careers. Recently, members of the Newton team visited Orkland to see two of our education modules in action: Search and Rescue and Life of the Bumblebee.
ORKLAND/NORWAY: “At school, we mostly work with books and such, but here [in the Newton Room] we get to work with robots and programming. It is fun!” That is the opinion of Marion, one of the visiting third-graders, who is visibly excited about her first visit to the Newton Room.
Learning experiences for the teacher
In the module, Search and Rescue, the students cooperate to solve a rescue mission related to a landslide using WeDo robots. The robots must first be built, and then programmed to perform the necessary tasks for the mission. As part of the process, the students learn basic and structured block programming.
“We are very happy to be here in the Newton Room,” shares the visiting class teacher, Linda Blåsmo. “We all learn a lot here – not only the students but also the teachers. For example, I get to learn how to use programming and about new pedagogical approaches.”
The joy of learning
Blåsmo thinks that the Newton Room provides an opportunity for those students who sometimes struggle to learn in their regular classrooms. “This is a fantastic arena for every student to experience the joy of learning. For some, it may be the very first time they get to be the best at something in the classroom.”
Sondre, one of the students from the local third-grade class, completely agrees. “It’s more fun to be here,” he says. “If we had been at school, we would have only done regular school work.”
Life of the Bumblebee
The first-graders, who also had the chance to visit the Newton Room in Orkland, had a great experience at the Newton Room as well. Through a different Newton module, the students had the chance to explore the lives of bumblebees by programming bee robots to find pollen and avoid dangers – just like the creatures do in real life. Newton Teacher, Janne Sommerschild Wiggen, led the students through the Life of the Bumblebee module with a series of songs and discussions. During the visit, the energy among the students was palpable.
Motivating to try something new
“This is a very exciting offer,” says Aina Ustad, a local teacher who brought her class to the Newton Room. “I was quick to say yes when the opportunity came up because it’s very motivating for students to get out of the regular classroom and into new and inspiring surroundings and use equipment that we could only dream of having access to at our school.”
Like Blåsmo, Ustad sees visiting the Newton Room as an opportunity for local teachers to learn more about programming and digitization. “Many of our students will enter professions that do not even exist yet and, in the Newton Room, they get to start exploring these challenges firsthand.”