Robotics and automation classes to be offered in Saskatchewan schools

A student works on his robot during a robotics competition at St. Patrick Elementary School in Ontario. CHEX TV/Peterborough

Schools in Saskatchewan now have the ability to offer robotics and automation classes to students.

The new curricula is an effort to keep in line with 21st century students and include material on coding. It will be offered from Grades 7 through 12.

The courses are meant to prepare students for “emerging careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” according to Education Minister Gordon Wyant.

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“Saskatchewan’s classrooms are meeting the needs of today’s student, by providing them with the hands-on, practical skill development found in these classes,” he said in a statement.

The classes have been piloted in 18 school divisions including the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, and four First Nations education authorities last year, and are now available to all school divisions.

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In high school grades, the courses in the 10, 20, and 30 classes will fulfill the Practical and Applied Arts (PAA) elective required for graduation.

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“Through funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Saskatoon Industry Education Council (SIEC) developed SaskCode — a robotics and coding program based on K-12 curricular outcomes,” said SIEC executive director Janet Uchacz-Hart.

“[With the new curriculum], Saskatchewan youth will be well-equipped with the skills they need to be prepared for future studies and STEM courses which lead to the jobs of the future.”

The course material has been developed through input from organizations, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Innovation Saskatchewan, SaskTech, Let’s Talk Science, and SaskCode.

It’s up to each board of education to decide on which schools in their division will offer the classes.

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