Frequently Asked Questions

How can my kid(s) join?2024-04-28T00:47:26+00:00

Thank you for your interest! We have to be careful of capacity and ensuring that our new students get the best experience possible. Follow these steps to get you started.

Is this part of a certain school?2023-03-18T21:53:31+00:00

No, we are an independent non-profit organization. Northshore Robotics was founded specifically to serve children who have limited or no access to in-school robotics programs. We support children and families from Private, Public, and Home Schools alike.

Is it only Robots?2023-03-18T22:00:24+00:00

No. We cover a variety of STEAM subjects and activities.  While the core of our curriculum focuses on designing, building, programming, and competing with robotics, we also expose our students to  a  wide range of other STEAM activities through field trips, guest speakers, and other special events.

Does my child have to attend tournaments to participate?2023-03-18T22:20:06+00:00

No. As part of our goal to serve students of all backgrounds, we understand that not all children will be able to attend live competitions.  That said, if your student is unable to participate in live competitions, there will still be team activities, reports, or assignments that may be entered into virtual competition in which everyone can participate.

What are some ways I can get involved?2023-03-18T22:24:18+00:00

We are always looking for mentors, sponsors, partners, and any other kind of ally. See our Volunteer Page for more details.

How can others help?2023-03-18T22:49:15+00:00

Contact us if you would like to volunteer, present a STEAM lesson, have a “field trip” opportunity, or are interested in mentoring /teaching/coaching. We are a non-profit and are funded by the grace of others who appreciate our efforts. We are always looking for sponsorships, grant opportunities, and other fundraising to support the teams.

Thank you!

How old does my child have to be to participate?2023-03-18T22:56:02+00:00

There is not a specific lower age limit. In general, the children should be able to read, as even the graphic based coding will have words that they will need to comprehend. Check out Scratch Jr., a free coding site by MIT, to get a good idea of the most basic coding. Our Vex IQ teams have had kids ranging from ages 5-13.

What are some other organizations you refer too?2023-03-18T22:58:37+00:00
  • VEX/VEXIQ/VEX Robotics is educational robotics for everyone. VEX solutions span all levels of both formal and informal education with accessible, scalable, and affordable solutions. Read more about them at https://www.vexrobotics.com
  • REC foundation is “The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation” and they spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable, and affordable curriculum-based robotics programs. https://www.roboticseducation.org
  • The Northshore STEM Coalition is a collaborative organization of stakeholders dedicated to improving STEM education and workforce opportunities in the Louisiana Northshore region. https://northshorestem.org
  • LaSTEM is an advisory counsel under the Louisiana Board of Regents that was formed During the 2017 legislative session in relation to the the legislature approved ACT 392 to create the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (LaSTEM) Advisory Council. https://www.laregents.edu/lastem
What is the ‘Socratic Method’?2023-12-24T16:07:54+00:00

The Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue to stimulate critical thinking and illuminate ideas. It is named after the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, who used this method to engage in discussions and prompt his students to discover answers for themselves. The primary goal of the Socratic method is to encourage participants to think critically, question assumptions, and arrive at deeper insights through a process of inquiry.

When applying the Socratic method to children’s education, educators or parents act as facilitators, guiding the children through a series of open-ended questions rather than providing direct answers. Here’s how you can apply the Socratic method in a children’s educational setting:

  1. **Ask Open-Ended Questions:**
    – Pose questions that encourage thoughtful reflection and discussion.
    – Avoid yes/no questions and instead focus on inquiries that require reasoning and exploration.
  2. **Encourage Dialogue:**
    – Create an open and safe environment where children feel comfortable expressing their thoughts.
    – Foster a collaborative atmosphere where ideas are shared and discussed.
  3. **Probe for Understanding:**
    – Ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into the child’s thought process.
    – Encourage children to provide evidence or reasons for their responses.
  4. **Challenge Assumptions:**
    – Prompt children to question their own assumptions and consider alternative perspectives.
    – Help them recognize the complexity of issues and avoid simplistic thinking.
  5. **Promote Active Listening:**
    – Teach children to listen actively to their peers, considering different viewpoints.
    – Encourage respectful and constructive communication.
  6. **Connect to Real-World Examples:**
    – Relate discussions to real-life situations or scenarios that are relevant to the children.
    – Help them see the practical application of their ideas and thoughts.
  7. **Emphasize Self-Discovery:**
    – Guide children toward discovering answers on their own rather than providing solutions.
    – Reinforce the idea that learning is a process of exploration and discovery.
  8. **Celebrate Diverse Perspectives:**
    – Acknowledge and appreciate the diversity of thoughts and opinions within the group.
    – Create an inclusive environment that values each child’s unique perspective.

Applying the Socratic method in children’s education helps foster critical thinking skills, enhances communication abilities, and promotes a love for lifelong learning. It encourages children to become active participants in their own learning journey, developing independence and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

What is ‘Iterative troubleshooting’?2023-12-24T16:14:45+00:00

Iterative troubleshooting is a problem-solving approach that involves identifying and resolving issues through a repeated and systematic process of refinement. In this method, individuals make continuous adjustments and improvements based on feedback and the outcomes of previous attempts. It is a dynamic and flexible problem-solving strategy that allows for learning from mistakes and adapting solutions over time.

When applying iterative troubleshooting to children’s education, the goal is to teach them resilience, adaptability, and a growth mindset. Here’s how you can integrate this approach into their learning experiences:

  1. **Encourage Experimentation:**
    – Foster an environment where children feel comfortable trying new things without fear of failure.
    – Emphasize that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process.
  2. **Frame Challenges as Opportunities:**
    – Present challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement.
    – Help children view setbacks as stepping stones toward finding effective solutions.
  3. **Guide Reflection:**
    – After an initial attempt at solving a problem, guide children in reflecting on what worked and what didn’t.
    – Encourage them to consider alternative approaches and potential improvements.
  4. **Promote Persistence:**
    – Teach the importance of perseverance in the face of challenges.
    – Emphasize that problem-solving often requires multiple attempts, and success comes through persistence.
  5. **Provide Constructive Feedback:**
    – Offer specific and constructive feedback on children’s efforts.
    – Highlight both the strengths of their approach and areas for improvement.
  6. **Facilitate Collaboration:**
    – Encourage collaboration and teamwork, as different perspectives can lead to more innovative solutions.
    – Teach children how to communicate effectively and share ideas with their peers.
  7. **Integrate Technology and Hands-On Activities:**
    – Incorporate technology and hands-on activities that allow children to interact with the learning material.
    – Provide opportunities for experimentation and exploration, fostering a sense of curiosity.
  8. **Model Iterative Thinking:**
    – Demonstrate the iterative troubleshooting process by sharing your own experiences with problem-solving.
    – Model how to adapt and refine solutions based on feedback and outcomes.
  9. **Connect to Real-World Examples:**
    – Relate troubleshooting experiences to real-world scenarios.
    – Help children understand how problem-solving skills are applicable in various aspects of their lives.
  10. **Celebrate Success and Progress:**
    – Celebrate both small and significant successes along the way.
    – Emphasize that the learning journey is as important as reaching the final solution.

By integrating iterative troubleshooting into children’s education, you empower them with valuable problem-solving skills, resilience, and the ability to approach challenges with a positive mindset. This approach contributes to the development of critical thinking and adaptability, preparing children for a future that demands continuous learning and innovation.

What is ‘6 Thinking Hats”?2023-12-24T16:31:59+00:00

The Six Thinking Hats is a thinking methodology developed by Edward de Bono. It’s a structured approach that encourages individuals to think about problems or decisions from different perspectives, each represented by a different “hat.” Each hat symbolizes a unique mode of thinking, helping individuals consider various aspects and viewpoints. For detailed information please check out the book here Below is a summary of what the six hats are and how they can be applied to children’s education:

  1. **White Hat: Facts and Information**
    – Focuses on available data, facts, and information.
    – Encourages objective and neutral thinking.
  2. **Red Hat: Emotions and Feelings**
    – Explores emotions, intuitions, and gut feelings.
    – Allows individuals to express their personal reactions without justification.
  3. **Black Hat: Critical Judgment**
    – Represents caution, critical thinking, and identifying potential problems.
    – Encourages individuals to be skeptical and identify risks.
  4. **Yellow Hat: Positive Thinking**
    – Encourages optimistic thinking and looking for benefits.
    – Focuses on positive outcomes and possibilities.
  5. **Green Hat: Creativity and Innovation**
    – Represents creative thinking, generating new ideas, and alternatives.
    – Encourages brainstorming and exploring innovative solutions.
  6. **Blue Hat: Process Control**
    – Represents thinking about the thinking process itself.
    – Manages and organizes the thinking process, sets the agenda, and defines goals.


What Are ‘Agile Methodologies’?2023-12-24T16:34:50+00:00

Agile methodologies are a set of principles and practices originally developed for software development, emphasizing flexibility, collaboration, and iterative progress. The Agile approach values adaptability to changing circumstances, frequent reassessment, and continuous improvement. While Agile was initially designed for the business and technology sectors, its principles can be adapted and applied to various domains, including education. Here’s how you can apply Agile methodologies to children’s education:

  1. **Iterative and Incremental Learning:**
    – Break down the learning process into smaller, manageable units.
    – Encourage students to learn in iterations, revisiting and building upon concepts over time.
    – Assess progress regularly and adjust the learning plan accordingly.
  2. **Collaborative Learning Teams:**
    – Promote collaboration by organizing students into small learning teams.
    – Encourage teamwork, communication, and the exchange of ideas among team members.
  3. **Adaptive Planning:**
    – Embrace the idea that plans can change based on feedback and evolving needs.
    – Teach children how to adjust their learning goals and strategies based on their experiences and insights.
  4. **Frequent Feedback:**
    – Establish regular feedback loops between students and teachers.
    – Encourage peer-to-peer feedback within learning teams.
    – Use assessments and discussions to identify areas for improvement.
  5. **Self-Directed Learning:**
    – Foster a sense of autonomy by allowing students to have some control over their learning process.
    – Provide opportunities for students to explore topics of interest and pursue projects aligned with their passions.
  6. **Flexible Learning Environments:**
    – Create flexible and adaptable learning spaces that can be reconfigured based on the needs of different activities.
    – Integrate technology to facilitate dynamic and interactive learning experiences.
  7. **Continuous Improvement:**
    – Instill a mindset of continuous improvement by celebrating successes and learning from challenges.
    – Encourage students to reflect on their learning experiences and identify areas for personal growth.
  8. **Project-Based Learning:**
    – Incorporate project-based learning approaches that allow students to work on real-world problems and apply their knowledge.
    – Break projects into smaller tasks, allowing for frequent checkpoints and adjustments.
  9. **Agile Rituals in Education:**
    – Introduce Agile rituals such as daily stand-up meetings, where students briefly share their progress and challenges.
    – Use retrospective sessions to reflect on the learning process and discuss what worked well and what could be improved.
  10. **Incorporate Agile Tools:**
    – Integrate digital tools that support Agile practices, such as collaborative project management platforms or tools for tracking progress.
    – Teach students how to use these tools to enhance their organizational and communication skills.

Applying Agile methodologies to children’s education promotes a dynamic and adaptive learning environment. It encourages students to become active participants in their learning journey, fostering collaboration, resilience, and a mindset of continuous improvement. By incorporating Agile principles, educators can better prepare students for the challenges and opportunities they will encounter in an ever-changing world.

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