THE Journal Insider
Drones as Competitive Flying Robots? How the REC Foundation is Expanding to Prepare Students for the Future Workforce
- By Kristal Kuykendall
As education leaders around the globe call for more emphasis on STEM education, and as government statistics project millions more tech jobs than trained workers in the next decade, the REC Foundation is changing the way K–12 students learn about technology by making robotics both accessible and fun for students from every background, all over the world.
REC Foundation has been helping K–12 schools start their own VEX Robotics education programs and participate in competitions since 2008 — and over 1 million students each year now participate in more than 70 countries, about three-quarters of those coming from the United States.
The foundation is also devoted to changing the face of STEM, with programs designed to make robotics more equitable, such as the Girl Powered initiative launched in 2016. Six years later, half of all elementary school students participating in VEX Robotics teams are girls.
Last year, REC Foundation added a drone program and competition in Texas, and this fall it expanded to Maryland and Michigan — with more states expected to be added soon.
For this episode of THE Journal Insider podcast, THEJournal.com editor Kristal Kuykendall visited with REC Foundation CEO Dan Mantz who explained the foundation’s recent adjustments to its mission and vision, the addition of drones, and how exciting student competitions for robotics and drone teams are helping prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
THE Journal Insider podcast explores current ed tech trends and issues impacting K–12 educators, IT professionals, instructional technologists, education leaders, and ed tech providers. Listen in as THEJournal.com Editor Kristal Kuykendall chats with ed tech experts, educators, and industry leaders about how they are 'meeting the moment' in the U.S. public education system. Find all podcast episodes as well as K–12 ed tech news updated daily at THEJournal.com.
Music by LemonMusicStudio from Pixabay
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].