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Local teacher pushes troubleshooting for students with robots


Stanford, Ill. (HOI) – School is out for the summer at Olympia Middle, but we couldn’t let them go without a $1,000 surprise first.

It’s our One Class at a Time grant, to allow the technology teacher to update his class programs.

Learning techniques have taken an online turn, and schools are adapting.

At Olympia Middle School, every student has a laptop. They take notes, write papers, and in Jason Smith’s class… they’re coding robots.

“I really like it. We just plug in wires, we get the circuit and attach wheels and they just go”, said Adam Swarztendruber, a 8th grade student.

They are tedious projects that take teamwork and a lot of patience, but some students say it’s the nontraditional classroom they like.

“It’s really exciting because it is kind of hard if you do get a wire wrong then you have to restart because you don’t know which wire is wrong… unless you go through and look at it”, said Laci Miller, a 8th grade student.

The man behind the assignment has a passion for tech projects and the students he assigns them to. That’s why Smith applied for hundreds of grants… including our One Class at a Time $1,000 grant. It’s all to stay up to date on the expensive online programs he uses for his curriculum. 

“There’s technology in everything. The buses that they ride in, the cars they ride in, their phones that they have… they just always needs to be able to figure out how to use stuff. So it’s important to get different things for them to have experience with”, said Smith.

Smith says it’s important his students leave his classroom with the confidence to troubleshoot technology.




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