My Experience with Piper.
I am a 5 th Grade teacher in a low income, Native American school that was just devastated with the hurricane. Students come to class eager to learn but have been limited in STEM learning for various economic reasons.
My daughter, a 4 th grade student, received a Piper Computer for Christmas and as she was assembling it, I knew this was an opportunity for the classroom to incorporate STEM. Not only was my daughter problem solving, reading blueprints and building a computer from nothing, but she was also challenged, and determined to fix problems as they arose. Although frustrated at times, she was able to go back, fix issues and move forward without wanting to give up. In fact she became more determined to be successful as each step was achieved.
Using Donor’s Choose, I wrote a project for 18 students to assemble 5 Piper Computers in my after school Tutoring program. We were quickly funded (about 1 ½ months) and our computers arrived a few days following funding.
18 students of various learning and behavior groups were chosen to work in 5 groups of 3. Criteria for students to participate were as follows: they must be present, they must work and they must have exemplary behavior from the time chosen.
The influence Piper has had on my students and their learning thus far is invaluable. Students who did not want to participate in tutoring originally, are fighting to stay and I have a waiting list of students ready to take their place. They are motivated to come to school and do their personal best. Students are on task 100% of the time while working with Piper Computers. I do not have to remind them to focus, in fact I have students informing me outside of tutoring what the next challenge is for their group and how they are going to achieve that challenge. Most importantly, ALL of my students have been successful using Piper regardless of traditional grading standards. They may have struggled academically in the past or been high achievers, with Piper, there is an even playing ground.
Piper has opened up a new world for my students in STEM thinking. They are now talking about a futures in engineering and computer sciences. The direct learning experiences have made a huge impact in a short time. They have attracted many visitors and enjoy showing off their new knowledge.
Due to the amazing experience with Piper, we have decided to continue into the next school year with 2 school kits and 60 5 th grade students.