Article from WTOV9 news in Jefferson County, Ohio. Tuesday August 18th 2015.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio — Steubenville is bringing two new programs to its elementary schools that aim to engage students in a new way. On Tuesday, teachers learned about Lego Education and Hop Sports. Lego Education allows teachers to use the plastic pieces to engage the students in a variety of lessons, like building motion sensors in a technology class, or constructing a historical scene in social studies. “We can give them paper and pencil, but if they can construct it, then you’re going to get a richer experience for the kids,” certified Lego education trainer Kathy Holberg said. While she is teaching the teachers about Lego education, across the hall, Tom Root is instructing the instructors on another new program called Hop Sports. “One of the things we want to do today is to get the kids moving throughout the day, so it’s bringing activity to the classroom so that periodically throughout the day we can get them up and moving,” Root said. “It stimulates learning and actually improves behavior of the kids.” Teachers will be equipped with many tools, like safe weights called sand bells, foam pieces that serve as cones or hurdles, and Kimochis (stuffed animals to help kids associate feelings with characters). Shana Wydra with Steubenville City Schools, says the goal of Hop Sports is to implement 21st Century learning skills into the classrooms. “We’re one of four in the state of Ohio to implement this (Hop Sports) and one of 60 nationwide, so there’s not many schools doing this,” Wydra said. “So we’re really excited to be on the cutting edge of it.” School starts Wednesday, and it won’t be long before students can get their hands on the tools. The district hopes to expand both Lego Education and Hop Sports into the middle school in the future.