Oak Ridge Schools Inspire Young Students with STEM Education

Oak Ridge Schools in Tennessee is dedicated to fostering a love for STEM subjects among its young students. With the help of the Sphero Indi robot, kindergarten students at Glenwood Elementary School are learning pattern recognition and problem-solving skills.

The Sphero Indi is a car-shaped robot that uses colored tiles to teach programming concepts to kids. Students use the different colored tiles to provide instructions to the robot, allowing them to create mazes. This block-based coding approach not only enhances early learners’ critical thinking abilities but also sets them up for future academic success.

Heather Henderlight, the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Oak Ridge Schools, emphasizes the importance of integrating technology in the classroom for all grade levels. By exposing students to digital tools and information, the district ensures that every child has access to these resources.

Instead of imposing technology on teachers and students, Oak Ridge Schools takes a thoughtful approach. They start small, evaluating what works and what the children and teachers are interested in using, and then scale up from there. This method allows for a more personalized and effective integration of technology in the classroom.

The Sphero Indi robot not only provides a rich computer science experience but also teaches young students the value of learning from mistakes. Trudy Cartagena, a kindergarten teacher, explains that one of the most rewarding aspects of introducing technology to Kindergartners is observing them explore, make mistakes, and learn from them.

In order to expand the impact of the Sphero Indi robot, the district aims to purchase additional kits and provide them to more classrooms.


  • Original article: WATE – OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Oak Ridge Schools is turning its young students into STEM fans.