Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The 49ers Museum presented by Sony today announced an educational partnership with Silicon Valley-based technology company, Wonder Workshop. The partnership will enable the 49ers STEM Education Program to integrate programmable robots, Dash and Dot, into its curriculum to engage students in coding and robotics through hands-on active play. As the leading professional sports organization in support of STEM learning concepts for youth, the 49ers have demonstrated a commitment to education and innovation. The partnership with Wonder Workshop will further both organization’s goals to make STEM more accessible and engaging for kids.

Now in its second year, the 49ers STEM Education Program provides a learning platform for students in grades K-8, teaching content-rich lessons using the STEM principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The 49ers STEM Education Program is preparing to host more than 60,000 students to participate this school year.

“We are thrilled to partner with Wonder Workshop to help grow our STEM Education Program,” said 49ers Museum Director, Jesse Lovejoy. “Integrating Dash and Dot in our STEM curriculum will afford visiting students the opportunity to truly think like an engineer, and see the results of that thought process. Wonder Workshop is the perfect tool to introduce coding and robotics learning while integrating the elements of football we love.”

The real robot Dash and coding companion Dot teach kids 5 and up to code, igniting curiosity and confidence while learning essential 21st century skills. As children experiment, play and code with Dash and Dot, they gain essential problem solving and critical thinking skills, watching their robot sidekicks come to life and develop unique personalities powered by their own coding imaginations.

Working with an iPad or tablet and a collection of four free apps, kids send commands to Dash and Dot programming them to move, explore, dance, interact, and navigate the world around them. Dash and Dot were created with the mission to bring coding and robotics to children at a young age, while making real robotics accessible and affordable to families everywhere. Dash and Dot are sold globally and are also loved by teachers in over 600 elementary schools across the US and internationally.

“We are excited to partner with the 49ers Museum with the shared goal of making STEM learning more accessible and fun for kids,” said Wonder Workshop CEO, Vikas Gupta. “Kids coming through the 49ers Museum STEM education program will be inspired to experience coding with real robots in an active, sports environment as part of the world around them. We get code and we get kid’s play, and we can’t wait to see how this partnership inspires our next generation to think differently while having the time of their lives.”

By coupling STEM learning with sports, Dash and Dot join the team dedicated to the development and success of the 49ers STEM education program. The 49ers Museum presented by Sony is creating a set of lesson plans that will introduce Dash and Dot with the football theme to children, furthering the mission to extend learning beyond the classroom and encourage coding and active play in kid’s everyday lives. In addition, the 49ers Museum presented by Sony and Wonder Workshop are co-developing a five to 10 lesson curricula that will be distributed to more than 100 schools in the Bay Area already using Dash and Dot in the classroom, and to any other class that is interested in doing so. The lesson plans will be free to download, and aligned with Common Core educational standards.

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