PBS Digital Innovator 2017

Amy Leffler

Amy Leffler Montana
  • MontanaPBS
  • Meadowlark Elementary
  • Billings, Montana

Instead of sitting unengaged amidst a whirl of math concepts and vocabulary, Amy’s students are using robots to connect math and science to real-world problems.  “I didn't start out loving robots, but I am passionate about connecting with kids,” says Amy, who was introduced to Project Lead Way, a new math curriculum that uses robotics. “Robots pique the interest of kids, and they aren't afraid to make a mistake with a robot.” Amy, who also leads the robotics and math clubs, says that robots have helped to improve her own practice as an educator.  When you’re learning alongside the students, she says, you step down from the role of ‘Sage on the Stage’ to the role of ‘Guide on the Side.’

Fun Fact: Amy’s class is working to “pay-it-forward” using their 3D printer to build and donate child-sized prosthetic hands to kids in need.