Westlake Students Use a Robot Called Dash to Learn Computer Programming Skills

Have you met Dash?

Maybe not – but kids around the world have. They are using Dash – a fun little pale blue robot – to learn STEM skills as they program it to sing, dance, flash its lights, and more.

Dash Robots came to classrooms at Westlake Elementary last school year, thanks to computer science teacher Susan Petty-Stallsworth. Her students were able to program the robots through an online subscription with Dash’s maker, a company called Wonder Workshop.

This year, when that subscription needed to be renewed, Mrs. Stallsworth turned to the Wayne Township Education Foundation and DonorsChoose for funding. Her grant was fully funded in October, 2022, and now Westlake students are able to continue to program and learn from Dash.

“Dash connects to the students’ Chromebooks, and students have access to program the robot and even add their own voice to the bot. Dash is a great way for students to communicate and cooperate together,” said Mrs. Stallsworth. “The subscription allows students to save their codes to the program instead of having to restart every single time, which they have to do without the subscription. Also, the Wonder Classroom subscription allows students to have full access to all puzzles and projects.”

Lisa Baize, executive director of the Wayne Township Education Foundation, is excited to see STEM skills developing as a result of WTEF funding.

“Our teachers are remarkably creative in making STEM subjects fun and engaging for our students,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide the resources that allow this kind of learning to happen.”

The Wayne Township Education Foundation (WTEF) provides community leadership to enrich, engage, and stimulate teaching and learning in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. WTEF accomplishes this by supporting school programs and resources, while recognizing excellence among students and staff. To learn more about WTEF, call 317-988-7966, visit wtef.wayne.k12.in.us, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @WayneTwpEdFound.