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Parallax Insider News

Sand Mountain Robotic Initiative Uses Parallax Products to Teach STEM

  • By: Parallax Insider Published: 07 March, 2014 0 comments
In northeast Alabama, Sand Mountain borders the State of Tennessee to the north and Georgia to the northeast, a plateau some twenty miles wide and sixty miles long extending to the southwest.  As many lower Appalachian communities, Sand Mountain is an economically depressed region of the seventh poorest state in America, but on Sand Mountain, We Have A Plan!  
 
Sand Mountain has nine K12 and seven K8 schools in Jackson and DeKalb County and we are shifting those public schools in the direction of "Carrier Path Education".  Parallax Activity Kits are being used to teach electronics and computer programing starting as early as the 5th grade.  All high schools are receiving Parallax Boe-Bots to establish robotic classes.  Our teachers are enthusiastic about the plan.  Most of the teachers on Sand Mountain were born and raised right here on the mountain.  It is for the future of Sand Mountain that they will make this effort.  
 
As you may know, Alabama has assembly plants for Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota.  This gives credibility to Alabama as a manufacturing center.  On Sand Mountain we intend to attract high tech auto part manufacturing facilities by providing a dense population of tech based young people ready to go to work.  Not far from Sand Mountain is the Alabama state Robotic Training Center.  Our community college is projecting increases in tech classes in the years to come as a result of our Robotic Initiative.  
 
The Sand Mountain Robotic Initiative is the brain child of a small community based non-profit, the Sand Mountain Concerned Citizens Inc.  It’s Director, Wayne Cummins, is the lead salesman for the Parallax path to learning robotics and the underlying sciences.  The corporation strives to make every student a tech, and every science teacher a super tech.   With the fascination of blinking lights, buzzing sounds, motors and servos, young minds have been captured as never before in the back woods of Northeast Alabama.  
 
It took a year and a half of fund raising before Boe-Bots and HomeWork Boards could be delivered to most schools.  The process is ongoing.  The first school to start classes with the HomeWork Boards was a very remote school in a small town of about 400 people.  North Sand Mountain began electronics and computer programing with their 5th grade class.  It’s amazing how fast those young minds can soak it up.  Most of the schools are yet to start class due to the lack of needed laptop computers as some high schools only have one or two laptops for the entire school.  We are working with the State of Alabama in an attempt to find the funds for these laptops.  Our near term goal is that every high school graduate will have basic understanding of DC electronics, computer programing and has had hands on exposure to, if not classes in, Robotics.
 
 
Wayne Cummins
Director, Sand Mountain Concerned Citizens Inc.
Sand Mountain Robotic Initiative