Canajoharie school district to buy robots through Stewart’s grant

Students in Canajoharie will soon have access to a dozen robots offering them hands-on opportunities to learn coding, math, physics, engineering and more.

Thanks to a $600 grant from the Stewart’s Holiday Match Program, the district has ordered 12 Sphero robotic balls. The grant was written by Canajoharie High School Librarian Tammy Jones.

Mrs. Jones said she applied for the grant to purchase the robots after attending a robotics class through the Northeast Regional Information Center (NERIC). After the class, the library was able to borrow several robots from NERIC, including the Sphero models.

Teachers will be able to incorporate the robots into classroom work across subject areas. Students involved in the high school’s Computer Science Internship (CSI) program will also use the Spheros, and the robots will be shared with middle school teachers as well.

The public will get a chance to see the robots in action this spring. CSI students will put on a demonstration before each performance in the upcoming Spring Concert Series. The concerts are slated for 7 p.m. on June 1, 5 and 6.

The Canajoharie school district was one of more than 1,700 organizations to receive a Stewart’s Holiday Match grant this year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, Stewart’s customers donated more than $926,000 to the program. Those donations were doubled to more than $1.85 million with the Stewart’s match. The program has now allocated more than $24 million since the program’s inception in 1986.