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Parallax Insider News

Free Distance Learning Robot Workshops for Educators during COVID-19 School Closures

  • By: Ken Gracey Published: 16 March, 2020 0 comments

100 educators to be accepted in our distance learning robotics workshop!

NOTE: PARALLAX HAS CLOSED THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR FREE ROBOTS AND ARE FINALIZING SHIPMENTS AT THIS TIME.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE ZOOM MEETINGS — BUT WITH YOUR OWN ROBOT — YOU MAY ENROLL FOR ITS WEBINARS WHILE SPACE REMAINS AVAILABLE.

While schools across the United States are closed for self-quarantine and travel-based conventions have been canceled, we’re inviting educators to participate in a hands-on opportunity to learn about microcontrollers and robotics — totally free, from the comfort of your home! This is your time to pick up an entire STEM curriculum!    

Dear Community,

Parallax is accepting 100 US technology teachers who want to learn programming, electronics and problem solving using robots in our distance learning workshop. We will equip you with a robot and the skills and tools to teach a class. It’s easy — you’ll apply, we confirm and your robot ships to your home immediately, arriving before the end of next week. You’ll participate in three one-hour, Parallax-hosted Zoom meetings with other educators to learn about your robot, building it between the first and second Zoom meeting. The Zoom meetings promise to be fun and informal; bring a cup of coffee (and show off your dog or cat to win a robot accessory)!

For students (and parents) subject to the same quarantine, we’re discounting all of our robots by 20% through April 3rd. We’ll announce open Zoom meetings exclusively for students so they can “see Parallax” and ask questions, share projects, etc. If you received this announcement, you’ll also receive the student Zoom meeting links by the end of this week.
 
Need help sorting out which robot would be best for your class? Reply or call me on the Educator Hotline at (916) 801-7625 (7am-7pm Pacific). While the COVID-19 situation is very serious, it also gives us a chance to come back stronger!

Sincerely,

Ken Gracey, CEO
P.S. The robot is yours to keep as long as you demonstrate it to the students.

(NOTE: ALL FREE ROBOTS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED)

A. Choose your robot — you’ll select it when you apply!

  • Cyber:bot (product / tutorials) — The cyber:bot uses the BBC micro:bit and is programmed in Python. The strength of these tutorials are Python coding, circuit building, cybersecurity and wireless communication. Designed for middle school through community college.  
  • ActivityBot 360° (product / tutorials) — Our most powerful robot uses the Propeller 1 Multicore Microcontroller and is programmed in our port of Google’s Blockly visual programming language, BlocklyProp, or C. The robot features encoder feedback motors for precise speed and distance, many sensors and an enjoyable programming environment. Focus is computational thinking, logic and electronic circuits.This robot is suitable for middle school through university.  
  • Shield-Bot with Arduino (product / tutorials) — This popular robot made for Arduino is about circuit building, sensors and logic. Includes a spiral-bound printed tutorial.

B.  Apply for the workshops (March 16-19th) — We are accepting 100 educators and will close the application process once we have accepted and confirmed 100 applications. Every application will receive a reply with an accept or decline. Some things to keep in mind before you start the application:

  • The application is a Google form.
  • You will receive the Zoom meeting signup links once you’ve been accepted.  
  • To qualify for this program you must:
    • Be an US credentialed educator who is teaching full time.
    • Teach one of the following subjects in middle school through college: computer science, robotics, coding, PLTW robotics, engineering technology, STEM, electronics, mechatronics, Python, cybersecurity, or similar.
    • You should be in the position of exploring hardware for your Fall semester.
    • Commit to attend and participate in three Zoom meetings (schedule is below). 
    • Not have received the same Parallax robot free previously.
    • If you already have a Parallax robot, you may still sign up but please let us know which one you have in the sign-up form so we can send you the correct meeting links.

C. Robot arrives at your address by March 27th — Open the box, take a look, and await the Zoom meetings for further instruction!

D. Participate in Three 1-hour Zoom Meetings March 30-April 3rd — The Zoom meetings are mandatory and not able to be changed. You will receive the registration link once you’ve been accepted. The Zoom meetings will provide instruction, troubleshooting and how to use the Parallax tutorials. Experienced educators will provide tips and tricks about teaching with the robots. These are the times we’ve arranged for each track.

  • Cyber:bot
    • Session 1: Monday, March 30th, 8am-9am Pacific (9/10/11 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 2: Wednesday, April 1st, 8am-9am Pacific (9/10/11 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 3: Thursday, April 2nd, 8am-9am Pacific (9/10/11 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
  • ActivityBot 360°
    • Session 1: Monday, March 30th, 11am-noon Pacific (noon/1/2 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 2: Wednesday, April 1st, 11am-noon Pacific (noon/1/2 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 3: Thursday, April 2nd, 11am-noon Pacific (noon/1/2 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
  • Shield-Bot with Arduino
    • Session 1: Monday, March 30th, 1-2 pm Pacific (2/3/4 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 2: Wednesday, April 1st, 1-2 pm Pacific (2/3/4 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)
    • Session 3: Thursday, April 2nd, 1-2 pm Pacific (2/3/4 in Mountain/Central/Eastern)