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Code Savvy Connections

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

The Latest From Code Savvy

We hope you are enjoying your summer, hot as it is! Our newsletters are one way to stay in the know about engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many of the talented and passionate individuals and organizations that we highlight.

This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration Theme: Sustainable Classroom Robots

This week’s focus is Sustainable Classroom Robots!

Dan McCreary works at Optum, is a longtime volunteer with Code Savvy through Twin Cities Coder Dojo (, is co-founder of the AI Racing League, and is an all around tech enthusiast. Dan has spent countless hours not only helping youth gain an appreciation for tech and programming, but also has worked hard to help provide accessible technology platforms for all students.

One of Dan’s more recent explorations has been co-founding the AI Racing League, which is an engaging way to develop programming skills and concepts around artificial intelligence. The program centers around students training AI robotic cars to navigate through a course as fast as possible, autonomously. To help make the program as accessible as possible, Dan and his team have spent considerable time researching and developing affordable technology for students and schools to use.

Appropriate technology is a large barrier for many students and schools to have access to high quality computer science curriculum and programming. Often teachers must turn to funding sources such as crowdfunding or grants for help, which generally require much effort and inconsistent results. Through Dan’s work he has researched what makes good robots for the classroom, and shares his information and findings with others. You can check out Dan’s blog post detailing his work finding sustainable classroom robots here. This type of work provides schools a lower cost alternative to improve the computer science programming for their students.

We want to thank Dan and others involved in the AI Racing League for all of their hard work and dedication to help students have more opportunities to explore artificial intelligence, robotics, and computer science!

As you are practicing your own computer science skills this week, try creating a project about robotics. You could use Scratch to make a virtual robot, or practice Python by programming a virtual mBot at Friria Labs virtual robot simulator. If you want to try a physical robot, an Edison is one of our low cost favorites. Or you could also find things around your home like boxes, soup cans, paper, or other materials to make your own prototype robot. Whatever you create, have fun and be sure to share it!

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