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TAG members play key role in product development

Published December 21, 2017
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Did you know that Pitsco Education is located in Kansas? Also known as the Land of Oz, Kansas was made famous in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, the Scarecrow is looking for a brain, the Tin Man is looking for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion is looking for courage.

In 2017, Pitsco was looking for a PULSE™, and our TeacherAdvisory Group (TAG) was integral in helping us discover it. Three teachers – Aaron Maurer, Carrie Wilson Herndon, and Michelle Smith – were part of the beta test for our new TETRIX® PULSE Robotics Controller, completing test runs over the summer and providing feedback to our development team. We used their comments to refine the final product, which hit classrooms in September.

TEACHERS AND ACTIVITIES

Other members of our TAG team were busy this summer as well. We asked five teachers to write activities around products. When the activities were complete, we asked other TAG members to peer-review them. This collaborative process produced some great activities we can’t wait to release on our website for educators to use!

  • Dr. Mary Webb – EZ Shake Table and Invention Explore-A-Pak
  • Michael Clark – Gravity Jousting
  • Paul Casey – Balloon Buggy and Propeller Buggy
  • Sharon Cutler – Prop Racers
  • Greg Reiva – Prop Racers

SHARING TIPS AND RESOURCES

Earlier this year, three of our TAG teachers took up the pen to share their classroom expertise with educators. As the humanities get more integrated into STEM, we’re often asked how to keep students engaged in writing activities in the STEM lab. We tapped TAG member Debra Rouse, a K-6 STEM coordinator who has a lot of experience in this area. She wrote a blog post filled with tips to spark interest in scientific writing.

Art Hardin and Michelle Hendrick tackled another subject matter for us. Art wrote a blog post on the Pitsco Backhoe, detailing his experience and giving recommendations for assembly and use. Michelle wrote an activity around the Backhoe. Combined, these two pieces give other educators a teacher-tested and easy jumping-in point.

In addition to the projects our TAG team was willing to take on, they provided a classroom viewpoint all year long, serving as a sounding board for ideas that Pitsco is considering and answering questions on a private website. They might have helped us develop the PULSE controller, but this team was really the pulse of development this year. Thank you for all the contributions, 2017 TAG team!

ONLY ONLINE:

To learn more about the Teacher Advisory Group, see examples of the work they created, and get to know the current members, head to Pitsco.com/TAG.

“Your constant inquiry of our operation, our successes, and our barriers has been crucial in our ability to run the Academy as we have. We could have not done it if it wasn’t with your support.”

– Jairo A Maldonado, EdM, assistant principal, Westfield High School, Houston, Texas

We enable young learners to develop the mind-set, skill set, and tool set needed for future success.

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