Matt and Kathy Collier
Matthew Collier Bio
Beginning in 1992 as a science and math teacher for a private school, I always had a passion to create hands on, project based lessons. When LEGO came out with the RCX LEGO MINDSTORM robotics kit in 1998, I bought several and started robotics classes with opportunities for competitive robotics teams at the school. Since that time, for 19 years, I have been using the LEGO MINDSTORM robotics to teach academic classes in grades 4th through High School, in Summer Robotics Camps, in after school robotics clubs, and for robotics teams who compete in FIRST LEGO League.
For 4 years, I served as an active member of the LEGO Education Advisory Panel (LEAP) and now hold ambassador status. My role on LEAP was presenting PBL through robotics around the United States at various seminars and trainings for educators, administrators and educational program developers. Through LEAP, I was given an opportunity to Beta test the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot. During that time, I was active in consultations to develop the final product now known as the LEGO MINDSORMS EV3 robot.
Through the years, I have worked on a variety of curriculums that would further goals for Project Based Learning (PBL). As a curriculum developer, I was an advisor for the currently published curriculum, Getting Started with LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS. As a classroom teacher, I developed a beginning and advanced engineering class for high school students using the EV3 which included a full school year of curriculum for both courses.
In 2012, I began teaching 1st through 3rd grade WeDo for schools and robotics clubs, assisting schools in Colorado and the United States get the WeDo kits into the classroom and enrichment programs.
I have coached FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics teams since 1998 and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams since 2005. To provide FTC high school robotics competitions in Colorado, I accepted the position of FTC State Affiliate for Colorado in 2008. Since that time, we have launched more than 80 competitive robotics teams in Colorado. Throughout the year, I conduct robotics trainings for students and teachers as well as organize FTC robotics competitions for the students of Colorado.
During the past 10 years, I have worked with over 50 school districts in 27 different States in the United States, trained teachers in South Africa and Kenya. The focus has been to equip teachers and administrators in the development of programs which incorporate Project Based Learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) into the classroom and beyond.
Matthew and Kathy Collier, working as an Educational Team, have developed interactive curriculum and pioneered numerous Project Based Learning (PBL) programs covering every grade and aspect of academic studies. Their work in pioneering PBL for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (SYEM) programs spans 2 continents. As a team, they bring over 20 years of experiential knowledge acquired as classroom teachers. Working as Professional Educational Trainers, they have developed and conducted trainings, seminars and workshops for teachers, administrators and educational developers in over 27 states in the USA, at the 2013 Future Ed Symposium in South Africa, and in Kenyan schools, both public and private. Currently, their work includes pioneering PBL programs for the children of Kenya through the establishment of ICT and robotics programs within classroom.
To view a video of their work in Kenya, go to: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/21407632/LEGO%20in%20Kenya.wmv
Statement of Purpose:
Our approach to educating our youth will determine how our children “take a bite” out of life. Will they be leaders in the work force, the community and world affairs? Will they confidently approach problems as opportunities? Children are born with abilities that will take this world forward and to the next level.
We know that empowerment comes through educational opportunities that challenge students to “create” rather than just “produce.” Though we cannot forsake the use of textbooks, that’s not the place where quality education takes place. Teaching children how to “think,” how to confidently grab hold of any problem, know there is a solution and not let go until they find it is the foundation for a stunning education. When children discover answers, education comes alive!
Matthew and Kathy Collier