To better prepare for their future, students need to develop a skill set for solving complex, real-world problems. Innovation is prevalent throughout our PreK-8 school.
Kindergarten STEM Challenges, Grade 1 Magnificent Mondays, Grade 3 & 4 Innovation Day, Grade 5 Innovation Hour and Grades 6-8 Flexible Learning Opportunities allow students choice in what they would like to design or construct. Below are just a few examples of the many great learning opportunities that are happening school-wide.
Pre-K students are creating digital stories using MyStory. Kindergarten classes are using Zoom to partner virtually with classes in Florida where they are analyzing weather patterns. Grade 3 and 4 Science students are completing a variety of STEM challenges while also learning how to use new makerspace resources. Grade 5 students are designing light up e-textile pins and programming robots. Grade 6 students applied math logic while using Cricut machines.
On an individual level Christina Ashley, a Grade 8 student, designed a 3D lamp as part of her Flexible Learning strand. She not only had to learn how to design and print the lamp in 3D but she also had to develop a deeper understanding of how circuits work. Jacob Antonovich, a Grade 7 student, has become our resident leader in the area of 3D creation and printing. He created his own chess set to use during our school’s Chess Club. He continues to support other classmates with 3D design and printing. Dahilia Maynard, another Grade 7 student, used Makey Makey and Scratch programming to create a digital story. All of their final working products reflect several iterations directly linked to computation thinking.
Our PreK-8 students are provided many opportunities to drive their own learning using a wide range of resources. Oftentimes they determine how they will move their idea from concept to completion. These opportunities regardless of magnitude, further develop their ability to understand how computation can be used to solve problems in all aspects of life.
Elementary Students 3D Designing and Printing
Middle School 3D Lamp
Rhonda Siemons is the Technology Integration Specialist (PreK-12) at BFA Fairfax. You can follow her on Twitter @rsiemons