North County elementary school students put engineering skills to the test in robot building

Posted at 7:21 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 22:21:24-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Students at an Oceanside school put their engineering skills to work Wednesday in an effort to build robots.

Project Lead the Way developed the curriculum, which teaches students to think critically. It gives them the chance to explore the ways robots are used in today's world and the impact they have on society.

The goal of the program is to expose students to careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Palmquist Elementary School student Brody Rodriguez said he's got his eyes set on becoming an engineer.

"What I like about building this is that you can … there's a lot of experience to it, it takes a lot of knowledge and stuff," Brody said.

Right now, Palmquist Elementary is the only elementary school in the Oceanside Unified School District that teaches the curriculum to students as young as kindergarten.

"I think it's very interesting because we get to build and we get to learn about the icons that go with it," one student told 10News.

A handful of middle schools in Oceanside already have the program, and next year, the district plans to expand it to three additional schools.

Not only is it fun for the students, district leaders say they've seen an increase in literacy scores.

"It's inquiry based, so they're asking questions, they're exploring, and they're really getting into it and it applies to all other curriculum we're doing here at school," teacher Matt Veseskis said.

Students say the best feeling will come a few weeks down the road once the robots are complete.

"It's going to feel really good because we accomplished something that was really challenging," student Marisa O’Toole said.