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Teacher Feature: Angela Towner Mertz

Unruly Splats Pro
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Go Bananas! is the ultimate back-to-school coding competition and Angela Towner Mertz from Academy Adventures Midtown is going for the gold — AKA TOP BANANA 🍌🏆 We wanted to put a spotlight 🔦on Angela's classroom as she prepares to sky rocket 🚀 student engagement with coding, active play, and collaboration during Go Bananas!

1. What part of Go Bananas! are you looking forward to the most?

I am looking forward to watching the students work together brainstorming how to develop programs that specifically meet the requirements for the Go Bananas! competition. Then being able to see them execute their programs and share with the younger students. Of course placing in the top 5 would be awesome too!

2. What’s the most surprising use for Splats you’ve seen or done yourself?

I've really loved watching the students' excitement each time they create a new program using Splats and how excited they are when they get to share it with others. I see the confidence building in the students and how empowered they feel. It is amazing to watch them!

3. What has been the most helpful in building your confidence using Splats?

Definitely the wonderful staff at Unruly Splats has been phenomenal! They are always there to help and problem solve! The trainings, online resources and materials, along with Activity Packs has been very helpful.

4. How has bringing Splats/coding into your existing curriculum (math, ELA, science, PE, music, etc.) changed the way students engage with the curriculum?

Using Splats in Math and PE has made a huge impact on engagement for our students. The hands-on and fun activities provide them fun ways to learn, without realizing they are even learning! It has boosted their critical thinking skills and problems solving skills.

5. If you could play Splats with anyone famous—dead, alive, or fictional—who would it be and what would you play?

I think being able to show how Splats work and play Splats with Ada Lovelace, since she is considered to be the first computer programmer from way back in the 1800's, would be so much fun. To see her reactions to the technology today that her contributions made and especially how Splats inspires young coders would definitely be an amazing opportunity and experience.

Unruly Studios makers of Unruly Splats, programmable, stompable floor tiles that help kids learn fundamental coding skills through recess-style play. Best for elementary and middle school students from PE to science or coding class, a great addition to the classroom for active STEM coding and play!

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