Merging Geography and Robotics in the Classroom

Posted on February 28, 2018

For her capstone project at Marlboro, MATT (Master of Arts in Teaching with Technology)  alum, Anne Pius, set out to offer a solution to two challenges confronting elementary school teachers in Vermont: pressure to include more STEM curriculum, and lack of cross-cultural exposure in the classroom. Inspired by her own passion for international travel and cross-cultural relationships, and driven by her colleague's need for STEM modules, Anne developed a third grade social studies unit which incorporated robotics and coding with mapping a geography to create an interactive classroom experience.

Children learningChild sitting

Anne explained the challenge for her project:

“Today, instructional time in the classroom is consumed by curriculum mandates, leaving little time for enrichment activities. School administrators are keen on encouraging STEM projects whenever possible. However, exposure to culture and global inquiry by students is virtually absent in the classroom. This Capstone project addressed the need to infuse multiculturalism in the classroom via two strands. First, by building a website with global resources and activities, with opportunities to connect with classrooms around the world. Second, by creating a rich four-week unit of study featuring Culture, Continents and Coding.”

In the unit, students begin by learning about world geography through games and hands-on projects. Then, participants dive into map making before completing a course on coding. Finally, students programmed a Dash robot to walk a predetermined path across the world map.

Students and colleagues alike found the module engaging.

To learn more about Anne’s work to request the unit, contact Anne Pius:


  • Curriculum Design
  • Graduate and Professional Studies
  • EdTech
  • Educational Technology
  • Practice Based Learning
  • Teaching Programs
  • Technology

Kelsa Summer, Assistant Director for Graduate and Professional Studies