205K+

Over 205,000 students have programmed a Finch due to the loan program.

1000

Currently, 1000 robots are pledged to the program for 2022.

1300+

Over 1300 organizations have participated in the Finch loan program since 2013.

Program Requirements

 

As of January 2022, we are lending out the Finch Robot 2.0! The new Finch, which launched in late 2020, supports students of any age and comes with free, asynchronous PD courses. It works with all major operating systems and both laptops and tablets.

Applications for the spring and summer of 2022 are now open and will close on February 11th. We will be scheduling loans to arrive between March and August 2022. Before you apply please read the program requirements, criteria for loan selection, and FAQs.

Program Requirements

Program Requirements

  • Use the robots in pair programming. This means 2 students work with 1 Finch robot at a time. If the largest class you will use the robots with is 30 students, you should apply for a loan of 15 robots.
  • Reach at least 5 students per robot. So, if you borrow 10 Finches, at least 50 students need to work with them over the course of the loan period.
  • Have one computer or tablet available per Finch you will borrow. *Please let us know if you require devices, we have a limited set of tablets that can be used with loans.*
  • Give us feedback by answering our post-loan survey and sending us curriculum you create, so we can host it on our website for the benefit of other organizations using the Finches.
  • Invest time in teacher training by perusing our website and preparing lessons, in order to effectively run programming with the Finch robots.

Criteria for Loan Selection

 
Plan

A Strong Plan for Using the Finches

Our top criteria for selection will be the strength of your plan for using the Finch robots. We have found that the strongest loan recipients are the ones that apply for the program with a concrete plan for:

  • How they will use the robots, including examples of specific activities they are planning.
  • How often they will use the robots. We especially favor programs using the Finches in multiple classes or settings (e.g. in the school library with multiple classes coming to use the Finches each day, both during the school day and after school, both in classroom and in community settings.)
  • How teachers will prepare to use the robots.
Reaching Students

Reaching Students

The loan program is designed to expand the reach of our robots to populations who may have limited access to computer science. Thus, we will give precedence to organizations that

  • Serve populations traditionally under-represented in computer science (e.g. girls, minorities, rural areas).
  • Have a large number of students in free/reduced lunch programs.
  • Reach a large number of students.

We also believe programming is a fundamental and basic skill, not an advanced topic. We understand that many districts set up specific “gifted and talented” programs. We will consider applications from GATE teachers, but we prefer to see applications that will democratically use the robots across student populations. If you are a GATE teacher, please include ways for your students to share the robots with their peers, community members, or younger students.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Libraries & schools act as great equalizers by providing resources to people in the community who may not have access to tools for computer science learning at home. Thus, we will favor applications that show a level of community engagement using the robots:

  • At school events, Maker Faires, or other community festivals.
  • At conferences, EdCamps, or other professional development events.
  • With older students teaching younger students, or other types of mentoring relationships.