MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Angela Anderson and Jim Nelson started a lab a Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis with a goal of changing the way students use technology.

They are showing them how to be more than consumers, but creators. It’s what makes Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Nelson Excellent Educators.

In the Innovation Lab, Angela Anderson and Jim Nelson are challenging students beyond the traditional classroom.

“Our hearts’ desires is for our students to become great problem solvers, thinkers, collaborators with each other and to help them realize all their awesome ideas they have that technology can help them make those into a reality,” said Anderson.

In the lab, students as young as five are learning to code.

“We try to get them to think like computer scientists, try to build things and solve problems with code but then we also do things hands on engineering with paper, cardboard tubes, plastic and we’re making things and solving challenges that way,” Nelson said.

Previously, both were classroom teachers, but wanted to focus solely on technology after discovering how integral it is for these kids.

“Like a lot of things with teaching I try to stay a step or two ahead of the kids your fine so that’s what I do because they are so intuitive with technology it’s really exciting to see them figure things out,” said Nelson.

They’re sometimes learning together, but always having fun together.

For the teachers, watching their students grow is their greatest joy.

“I love stem integration, I think it is so important for our kids I feel like I have the coolest job ever I get to come a hang out and learn alongside of them and it’s really fun,” said Anderson.

Kim Johnson