Secrets to New Hampshire's success in implementation

I am currently researching the implementation of the Experiential Robotics Platform (XRP) program in New Hampshire, particularly in areas and schools with fewer teachers or no computer science (CS) teachers. I am interested in understanding how New Hampshire was able to successfully roll out the XRP program under these circumstances.

Specifically, I am looking for information on the following:

1. Teacher Training: How was New Hampshire able to train enough teachers for the XRP program? Was it just through Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the monetary incentives, or were there other methods involved?
2. Teacher Certification: What did the certification process look like for these teachers? Did they need to have CS degrees? How long and rigorous was the process?
3. Teacher Recruitment: How did New Hampshire ensure that each school had a teacher for the XRP program? Did a single teacher commit to becoming a CS teacher and teach several levels, or did technology/science teachers receive new training?

Any insights, resources, or contacts that could help me understand this better would be greatly appreciated. Also, if there is any other information that might be useful in understanding the XRP implementation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!

1 Like

The trainings done by FIRST NH were great in getting me up to speed with programming the XRP’s.
We don’t have any CS classes or teachers at our school, but we do have a robotics class. Since I’m actually a math teacher, I don’t need a certification.
As far as recruitment, again FIRST reached out to me and many mentors. I’m looking forward to using our XRP’s again next year to help our programs.

1 Like

There are a couple of initiatives going on in NH. One is to increase the number of CS teachers in the state. This is a department of education initiative and I am trying to see if I can get some data to share on that. The other is to bring the XRP to every middle and high school in the state. I am in charge of the XRP part and I can DM you my contact info if you want to talk more about it. Some details on the project is that we are not just distributing the 5,500 XRPs, but we are also manufacturing them in NH using our Community Colleges and CTEs. This is providing some great manufacturing experience for our students. On your specific questions:
1. Teacher Training: We provide a free 3 hour required professional development to the teachers. They learn to build the XRP, initial programming of the XRP, and a run through of the structure of the Intro To Robotics curriculum. We provide the teachers with a certificate for the 3 hours of training. We have been using a train the trainer model to increase the number of teachers that can teach the PD.
2. Teacher Certification: We are not certifying teachers and the XRPs are available to any teacher that can make use of them in their classroom. We have been getting some great feedback on different ways they have been engaging students with them, and introducing a large number of students to STEM and robotics.
3. Teacher Recruitment Good old fashion marketing. The department of education is willing to help with mailings. But, all the materials and follow up is on us. We have hired a program manager and operations manager to help with all of the roll out and coordinations. Along with many great volunteers!

Hope this helps, please let me know if you have any further questions about this fantastic program.

1 Like