It’s not your parents’ elementary school anymore.

In this day and age, elementary schools are a sea of activity with children engaged in hands-on activities that include technology, robotics, fine arts, chess and other programs that solidify the educational journey.

Owners and managers from more than 10 daycare businesses will get a first-hand look at what goes on in McAllen ISD elementary schools this week. The Daycare Outreach Initiative will be from 9-10:30 a.m. on Friday, December 8, at McAllen ISD’s McAuliffe Elementary (3000 Daffodil Ave.).

There will be student demonstrations that include chess, robotics, choir, cheerleading and folklorico dancing.

The idea is to give Daycare center operators and parents a better understanding of what students will experience when they come to elementary school once they get older.

As part of McAllen ISD’s approach to robotics, students in kindergarten will demonstrate four rovers from the Mission to Mars initiative [ SEE ATTACHED PHOTO ] that began last school year. The students have learned to navigate the rovers, similar to those found in the space program. The rovers are equipped with a robotic arm which the students learn to program to pick up and move objects. Along the way, they are absorbing concepts like gravity, pressure, orbital mechanics and elliptical paths.

McAllen ISD also has chess teams in each of its elementary schools. Last year, 11 schools sent teams to the state chess tournament and five teams advanced to the national chess tournament.