Area GEAR UP math and science teachers are first in the nation to receive TI–Innovator™ Rover technology


WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 31, 2017) – Thirty-two Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP partnership math and science teachers were the first in the nation to receive newly-released technology and training on the Texas Instruments’ TI–Innovator™ Rover. The Rover is the first TI robotics solution for middle and high school students that makes learning STEM subjects a moving experience. The students can write programs on their TI graphing calculators that get Rover's wheels turning and their minds learning in a fun, interactive and hands-on way.

Rover connects to the TI-Innovator Hub and TI-Nspire™ CX graphing calculator that many GEAR UP teachers already have and drives interest and curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Students without any exposure to coding or robotics can get started by writing a basic program to make Rover do things like draw, dance or even crash.

“This technology is awesome,” said GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator John Spiegel. “We are serving over 85 math and science teachers in partner schools. This technology is just the next step in making math and science learning a fun experience for students.”

Students can team up to use Rover and are encouraged to work collaboratively to explore different STEM concepts. Rover was built specifically for use in the classroom and includes a rechargeable battery, color sensor, distance sensor, LED display, gyroscope and marker holder to trace on paper. This first-of-its-kind calculator-controlled robotic car is now available for purchase in the United States and will be available in Canada later this fall and in Europe in early 2018.

“Teachers were so excited,” added Spiegel. “GEAR UP is excited to provide this innovation to our teachers and students. It really puts them on an even playing field with other schools. We appreciate the dedication our math and science teachers have given to the program and the commitment to excellence by Texas Instruments.”

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal grant program designed to meet the needs of low–income, underserved, and underrepresented students in geographically–isolated, rural schools in six southeastern Oklahoma counties. In 2011, Eastern was awarded $12.6 million grant over a seven–year period to serve a cohort of students in 30 partner schools. The grant is in its final year of implementation. Eastern has been awarded a $17+ million GEAR UP grant that will serve 39 area schools.

Area GEAR UP math and science teachers received TI–Innovator™ Rovers for use in their classroom following training. Pictured are: Front row: Kevin Wright, McAlester; Tim Collier, McAlester; Daniel Mitchell, McAlester; William Leaptrot, Panama; Justin Wood, Savanna. Row two: Kathy Ramsey, GEAR UP; Liz Belcher, Panama; Carrie Rymer, Wilburton; Bret Lalli, McAlester; Chris Wingo, Atoka; Felicia Wilson, McAlester; Tammi Bethell, Talihina; Taylor Smith, McAlester; Shana Grubis, Canadian; and Cassie Whitecotton, TI. Back row: J D Allen, LeFlore; Doug Roberts, TI; Dale Filbrick, TI; Dave Santucci, TI; Tracy Loyd, LeFlore’ and John Spiegel, GEAR UP. Not pictured: Tonya McKnight, Moyers.

Area GEAR UP math and science teachers received TI–Innovator™ Rovers for use in their classroom following training. Pictured are: Front row: Brie Matthews, McAlester; Marc Curliss, McAlester; Lisa Goddard, Wilburton; and Lisa Hilburn, Quinton. Row two: John Spiegel, GEAR UP; Stephen Emmons, Canadian; Margaret Giles, Haileyville; Patti Brannon, Crowder; Michelle Cole, McAlester; Cydney Meglemre, Keota; Tracy Matthews, McAlester; and Cassie Whitecotton, TI. Back row: Marco Gonzalez, TI; Shelly Wansick, Hartshorne; Doug Roberts, TI; John Honeycutt, Keota; Charles Geis, McAlester, Keith Craig, Spiro; Jamie Booth, Haileyville; and Brad McNeil, Indianola.

McAlester High School’s Tim Collier and Bret Lalli accepted the challenge at the TI Rover training to program the Rover to draw two equilateral triangles in the shape of a bow-tie using the marker holder on the rover. They did it!

Keota’s Cydney Meglemre is all smiles as she receives her classroom set of TI Rover technology.

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