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Technology Mobile creates excitement at WDC

Lillian Jordan's eyes grow wide as she turns on the art bot and it begins moving around the paper on its own. Lillian is in Mrs. Finn's third-grade class. Dana Cantleberry/WDC Schools.1 / 2
Technology Mobile Director, Alicia Green, introduces Baxter the Robot to WDC students. Green explains to students that robots like Baxter are used for simple industrial jobs such as loading, unloading, sorting, and handling of materials on a production line. Dana Cantleberry/WDC Schools.2 / 2

Technology Mobile spent three days at Wadena-Deer Creek's elementary and middle school getting kids excited about robotics while visiting with Baxter the Robot, programming robots, and playing with different robots.

Alicia Green, Technology Mobile director, said "Tech Mobile" is a technology library on wheels, with equipment and curriculum that aligns with Minnesota standards in robotics, art and design, health, manufacturing, and more. It's a collaborative program between Central Lakes College and Minnesota State Community & Technical College that began in 2014, and to date, has received $760,000 in Innovation Funding from National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA.

"The idea is to bring K-12 students in Region 5 exposure to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics," said Green, who couldn't answer students' questions fast enough during her sessions with WDC students in grades K-6.

Wadena-Deer Creek Schools applied for a grant from NJPA to bring Tech Mobile to WDC three different times during the 2017-18 school year.

"This is so much fun," said an excited Morgan Picardo, a third-grader in Mrs. Finn's class, as he programmed an iPad which made the robotic sphere roll and move in all directions.

Green will be returning to WDC two more times during the school year. She said next time, she plans are to bring a 3D printer and more awesome robotic gadgets for kids to enjoy.