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🌎 Global Innovators


On April 6th, Rustic Lane Elementary’s robotics and programming class participated in the first Innovation Day Inland Empire, an event for students to showcase projects they completed for the "do your :bit" global challenge using micro:bit technology.

Andrea and Yuliana with their bee counterThe micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that facilitates student coding projects. For the do your :bit challenge, students between the ages of eight and eighteen use micro:bit devices to design and prototype projects aligned with the 17 Global Goals adopted by the United Nations, which include affordable and clean energy; climate action; and taking care of life below water and on land. 

Six Inland Empire schools participated in Innovation Day, and ​Rustic Lane students presented their micro:bit prototypes to representatives from the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Digital Learning Services Department, the coordinating office. Students also received virtual tech support from micro:bit global champions via Zoom, and submitted their projects to the Micro:bit Foundation for awards consideration.

Jayden and Jannely with their trash collector boat
"Innovation Day is a day for students to invent and explore and use their creativity to build something that they never could imagine before,” shared Tonya Coats, 2nd-grade teacher and robotics and programming advisor. “Using their computing skills and also their creative abilities, our students are able to bring their ideas to life.” 
Projects included a bee counter to determine the state of a hive; a rainwater irrigation system to distribute water to plants in need; a system that allows wind energy to power a house when the electricity fails; and a trash collector boat to clean up oceans.
"We wanted to build this project because a lot of animals get hurt while they're just doing their normal activities in the ocean,” said Jayden, one of two students behind the trash collector project. “People just throw so much stuff in the ocean that shouldn't be in the ocean.”
Jayden, 6th grade, and Jannely, 4th grade, constructed their boat with a 3D printer. They tested multiple prototypes before determining the right measurements and code to make their trash collector function in water. For Jannely, the process was inspiring. “It made me realize everything I could make,” she said.
Rustic Lane robotics students and teacher
“What we learned is that micro:bits can help us in the future,” added Andrea, 3rd grade, who designed the bee counter with her partner, Yuliana, 4th grade.
The Rustic Lane robotics and programming class​ is funded by the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Program and meets before and after school. Six girls from various grade levels participate. The girls credit their interest in computer science to Ms. Coats and are grateful to her for providing them with a strong foundation for future learning.
“It’s super important to inspire computer science [education] in young girls,” said Ms. Coats, noting girls might be hesitant to get involved because it is a historically male-dominated field. “Once you get them started, they gravitate toward it. They love it and they build onto it every year.”
For more information about the do your :bit challenge, please visit: