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Students learn how to code and program robotic cars for World Math Day

Posted at 3:19 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 15:19:56-05

PARKVILLE, Md. — Learning to parallel park is something you expect to hear a teenager learning in Drivers Education, not middle schoolers in math class.

For World Math Day on Wednesday, students at Parkville Middle School learned how to code and program robot cars to parallel park and navigate around a 3-D printed city.

Texas Instruments came to the Baltimore County school with their newest graphing calculators and rovers, or robot cars, to teach students how fun math and science can be.

“At TI, we don’t want kids to shy away from math and science, we want to bring those subjects to life, to really open their eyes with the potential of exciting careers. It’s exciting to see,” explained Peter Balyta, the President of Education Technology at Texas Instruments.

And Balyta says the technology those students were using is the same that people are using across the station.

“We are going to bring these kids from being curious observers on the sideline, to really confident participants in an active STEM activities,” said Balyta.

Click below to see more pictures from the event:

Parkville Middle School Principal Erin O’Toole-Tribas says this is the first time students have had an opportunity like this.

"You try to make decisions everyday and help kids in their learning and then help them see how it can apply to the real world, but its not everyday we get to bring in something like this and give them this type of opportunity,” said O’Toole-Tribas.

And the students were taking advantage of every second.
“I did like it a lot because it was fun and it was challenging. I would like to do it in my future because I feel like it would be a good job and it’s pretty fun,” said seventh grader Carson Eddy.

While programs like this are fun for the students, the staff at Texas Instruments say it's important to teach.

“One of these kids right here maybe be the one to design the next generation of self driving cars, develop the next medical breakthrough, or solve one of the many challenges involving the environment,” said Balyta.

Texas Instruments has already traveled to eight schools across the country and they plan on going to more.