US News | May 21, 2019 | San Antonio, Texas
“We’re more than a school. Somos familia.” That’s the message James Bonham Academy demonstrates through active engagement of parents and the community in supporting student learning and development. The multicultural, multilingual K-8 school is a part of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).
Recognizing that education is not a “one size fits all” package, SAISD offers more choices than any other district in the area for students to pursue special interests and career goals. One extracurricular offering growing in popularity at Bonham Academy is their volunteer-run robotics program. Preschool-age through 8th grade students participate in the construction, operation and use of robots and the computer systems that control them.
Educators all over the nation are working to inspire students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs like Bonham Academy’s robotics club, and as more and more of them are deployed, new lessons and best practices emerge.
In order to operate a successful robotics program, schools first need accessible, fully charged tech for their students. As a result, “mobile STEM labs” are a new concept quickly catching on as a cost-effective, sharable solution for delivering hands-on STEM education tools.
With three different age groups utilizing laptops, iPads and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 robots at Bonham Academy, volunteer David Lopez explains, “We needed a way to store, charge and lock several types of devices – an all-in-one solution flexible enough to accommodate all of our charging needs.”
The design gave them the versatility he was looking for. Utilizing a combination of Baskets by LocknCharge and wire racks inside their carts, Bonham Academy can fit everything they need to run the three groups of robotics club effectively and efficiently.
As a purely volunteer service that a few parents provide, Lopez recognizes the importance of that efficiency. “We’re happy whenever we can reduce setup time and instead dedicate that time to the children of the school,” he said.
Charging used to be somewhat of a hodge-podge with different devices charging in different locations, but they’ve now consolidated everything into one charging cart – streamlining the setup and tear-down process.
Unlike some alternative options built by the manufacturers of the STEM technology, the LocknCharge charging carts are more affordable and flexible. The laptop carts for schools are multi-purpose and not tailored to any specific device; thus won’t become obsolete as the technology is redesigned in the future. And the future is really what they’re focused on. As their vision states, Bonham Academy is shaping and empowering culturally literate and innovative global learners and leaders.
For more information about “Thinking Inside the Box”, click here.
To download a PDF of this white paper, click here.