Returning this school year, elementary students in the Sheboygan Area School District have the opportunity to participate in before or after school Tech Clubs. Tech Clubs are offered in two sessions at each elementary school throughout the year. Previously called Coding Clubs, Tech Clubs were introduced to provide enrichment activities for students before or after school, and also as a way to provide hands-on learning in the areas of coding and technology.
Academic and career planning is an important focus in the Sheboygan Area School District and can start in elementary school as exposure to different skills and career clusters. Tech Club introduces elementary students to all kinds of coding so they’ll continue to be lifelong learners of the computer sciences.
Six different “tech kits” are rotated through the schools, which include a variety of different pieces of technology that students can learn and interact with, like Osmos, Spheros, Lego Boost, and more. Cooper Elementary School is wrapping up their first Tech Club session. Cooper teachers Megan Salm and Logan Weckerly serve as Coding Captains to oversee the program. Salm and Weckerly shared that students really enjoy the Sphero and the Ozobots where they can drive and program them.
“The most rewarding part is interacting with the kids in a non-classroom setting and getting to know kids in the different grades,” said Salm.
“We also really enjoy seeing them progress from week to week on their knowledge of how to use the different materials, and also seeing them get excited about learning outside the regular classroom setting,” added Weckerly.
“The goal is to give students the opportunity to interact with pieces of technology that they may not normally get to see,” said Mike Jaber, Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Sheboygan Area School District. “Students also engage in computer science, or coding, experiences to give the students some exposure to how much coding is a part of everything that we interact with on a daily basis.”
Students who are interested in technology and coding have a unique opportunity in the Sheboygan Area School District to pursue a free, associate degree from Lakeshore Technical College while in high school. This program is called “College Here & Now” and is offered at both North and South High Schools. The Sheboygan Area School District, Lakeshore Technical College, and Lakeland University are leading the nation with the first program that will allow high school students to earn an associate degree at their high school and complete a bachelor’s degree in just two years following graduation. Learn more about College Here & Now.
Interested students should contact their school's principal to learn more about elementary Tech Clubs and their school counselors to learn more about the College Here & Now program.