American educators and employers have long acknowledged a need to prepare students with the relevant, in-demand skills and knowledge they’ll need to become successful innovators.
Their focus has now turned to STEAM—a curriculum that includes science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math—as a way to spark student interest in the arts and sciences and help that interest blossom into a career path.
Supporting teachers and students on these journeys will always be a key component of our business model. That’s why we introduced our Atlas Series, a 2-in-1 laptop that’s purpose-built for K-12 classrooms. Closer to home, we’ll be donating more than 500 computers to The Teacher’s Desk before Christmas so that underserved students can experience high-tech learning opportunities.
So when we heard that Adobe had teamed up with the Microsoft Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, to hold an I Heart Tech event, we couldn’t wait to get involved.
STEAM and robotics in active learning spaces.
One important part of the I Heart Tech event was a STEAM module during which students built LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robots and programmed them using Scratch, a programming language designed by the MIT Media Lab to help students learn to code.
The robotics module was perfect for students who love to move around the learning space and engage with the material using their hands and sense of touch. They could get down on the floor and chase after their robot, then return to a desk and adjust their code as necessary.
But because consumer-grade devices and active learning spaces don’t generally mix well, event organizers knew they’d need to find a computer that was slim and light enough to move with students but strong enough to survive a day of active learning.
They also knew they’d need a device with a short learning curve. If students spent too much time struggling with the computer, they’d lose time with their robot—a frustrating experience that could deter them from a career pathway in robotics.
Finally, event organizers knew the students in attendance would have a variety of learning styles. It would be important that students have access to a computer with enough versatility to accommodate all learners.
Atlas Series laptops are perfect for STEAM learning.
Thanks to our retail relationship with Microsoft, Microsoft Store employees who were involved with the I Heart Tech event knew of one computer that would work well—our Atlas 12 2-in-1 laptop. We donated 50 of them for students to use during the event.
Justin Lee, a business sales specialist at the Microsoft Store in Salt Lake City, Utah, and one of the I Heart Tech event organizers, said the Atlas 12 made all the difference.
By donating the Atlas 12 laptops, Bak USA provided accessibility to technology and tools for a classroom. We wouldn’t have been able to offer this if they hadn’t stepped in to help. Without a doubt, these students wouldn’t have been able to complete their activities without the Atlas 12.”
Our Atlas Series—which includes the Atlas 12 and its successor, the Atlas—are 2-in-1 computers designed to accommodate learners of all types. Because Atlas Series computers can be used as touchscreen laptops or folded back into tablets, they’re perfect for tactile learners.
The students enjoyed switching the Atlas 12 between a laptop and a tablet. And the touchscreen was perfect for tactile learners. They were able to ‘feel’ their code and quickly fix errors without having to hunt for the cursor on screen. I heard a student remark, ‘These are much better than the Chromebooks at my school.’ They were really happy to use the Atlas 12.”
What makes us really happy? Knowing that we were able to make STEAM fields like robotics and programming interesting, engaging, and fun for students.
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