Students Go “Robotic”

Kindergarten through eighth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School are no strangers to technology. They regularly use everything from computers to 3D printers. However, students are especially excited to become more familiar with the school’s brand new Sphero Mini robots.

A Sphero Mini is an app-enabled device about the size of a ping pong ball. Students are able to use the Sphero Mini app to draw paths for the robot to follow, write their own JavaScript text programs, and use actions, controls, operators and more to give their robots commands.

Monica Matthews, an Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) licensed educator at the school, loved introducing the robots to her AIG students. They explored how to use drag and drop code to make each robot move in the direction they wanted.  The kindergarten through second grade aged students used the drive function and practiced controlling the robot to knock over mini bowling pins.

“Our Sphero Mini robots provide a toolset that has unlimited potential to weave hardware, software and community engagement together,” said Matthews. She added that while computer coding is a key 21st century skill, the robot and its app go beyond code by incorporating robotics and technology with collaborative STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and math – activities.

“These robots are proving to be a whole lot of fun and a fantastic tool to nurture students’ imaginations,” said Matthews.  “I look forward to seeing all the creative ways teachers across campus use them in their classrooms.”

Ready for School Maker Faire?

Across the world, Makers are coming together to celebrate the innovation and invention that comes from curiosity and the drive to explore. In gathering both formal and informal, they are coming together to share the love of their DIY, tech-driven passions. Maker Faires occur across the globe.

This year marks our Fourth Annual School Maker Faire!

School Maker Faires are mini versions of the city-wide Maker Faires that happen all over the globe.

As an E-STEAM school that emphasizes learning through doing, we think being part of the Maker Movement is the perfect way to engage and excite our students and larger community, about the world around them.

Mark your calendars for March 14th to join us for our School Maker Faire. Want to showcase your makes?  Click HERE to register!


Outdoor Survival Elective

The Outdoor Survival elective consists of fourth and fifth graders learning the basic necessities for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Their leader, Sean Bain, teaches them what to do in case of emergencies in numerous outdoor situations. Below are examples of what these students are learning.

 How to properly wrap a broken extremity, stop severe bleeding, and secure impaled objects in the body.

Why and where to build an emergency house (lean-to)
Picking the correct material
Why its important to get out of the environment at a quick pace

Always be aware of surrounding dangers
How to mark or remember ways you came into the woods.
Closest water source

More About Charter Schools Across the State

Image from National Charter School Resource Center. Visit to learn more.


Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition. Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools, but charter schools are held accountable through the State assessment and accountability system.

Other interesting facts as of January 2019:

  1. 109,389 students are being served by 185 charter schools across North Carolina.
  2. That represents 7.3% of the total public school population.
  3. 50% are female and 50% are male.
  4. 35 applicants to open a charter school are currently being reviewed by Charter School Advisory Board.
  5. The number of charter school exceeding growth increased from 36 to 46 last year.

Visit the Office of Charter Schools to learn more about charter schools across North Carolina.