Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The Top 10 Project Highlights from 2015-2016...The Second Five
Here are the second five project highlights from 2015-2016 in the 'Iolani Lower School Lab:
The second class was all about circuits. After being introduced to the engineering design process and Design Thinking, we started with simple circuits: copper tape, coin cell batteries and LEDs. Next we made and used conductive paint to make circuits. Then we introduced breadboards and a few different components (like resistors, jumper wires, and switches). After Christmas break "Santa" had brought us an OtherMill from The Other Machine Co. We then started designing and milling our own circuit boards. Students then could make anything they wanted (most of them had been in the "Making" class either last summer or last semester so they knew what could be done in the Lab) and add electronics.
For years, our 3rd grade science teacher has been doing a big unit on "Space". The students have a space night where they look at the stars through telescopes, shot off 2liter water bottle rockets and do other "outer space" activities. In class, they also do a making project using recycled materials. They have to research and design a space exploration vehicle (SEV) and then build it. The last two years, I have been going into the science lab and helping with the making part...mostly the cutting of difficult material and pieces, and some hot gluing. This year we decided to add a "high tech" component. We asked for volunteers from each class who would like to add some interaction to their SEV by using Scratch and a Makey Makey. We had a bunch of takers and after a few extra sessions, the interactive SEVs were up and running.
As part of the 6th grade unit on ancient cultures, the students were asked to research and create an artifact from ancient Egypt. Most of the 131 sixth grade students did this project at home, but about 30 decide to come into the Lab and make use of the equipment we have. They made everything from a 3D printed Eye of Rah, to a laser cut crook & flail. One of the most impressive artifacts was a sarcophagus. The young lady that made this traced the design of the top of a sarcophagus from a picture. She also designed and drew out the sides and bottom. We took her drawings, scanned them, and sent them to the laser cutter. Once cut out, she glued them together and highlighted the etched portion in pencil.
After the mini-lesson with our 2nd graders on Scratch Jr. the teacher decided they wanted to incorporate this technology into their curriculum. So at various times through out the year, they had the students "show what you know" by making a game in Scratch Jr. and having their friends play it. One game was for parts of speech and another was for math computation. Coding and assessment all in one.
Even though our youngest students are not ready to use the laser cutter yet, we still got them into the Lab to make something great. At Christmas time our kindergarten teachers wanted to have the students make Christmas ornaments to take home. One of the things we did was to take the students own work, scan them, laser cut them out and the students colored them with marker. Another class used "Kidpix" to create a design. We printed the design and then had the students use the app "Vectorize it" to crop and make their design a vector image. The image was emailed to the laser cutter, cut and given to the students to take home.
Final Word...For Now:
It's hard to believe this is the end of the second year for the Lower School Lab at 'Iolani. The time has flown by and as things seem to quiet down we are really just getting started again. This summer we are once more offering a 4hr a day, 5 days a week, 6 week long coed "Design It-Make It" course for 3rd-6th graders. But that's not all, after the first 6 week session, we are having a 1 week, 6.5 hr a day "Design It-Make It" class for just girls and then another week for just boys. All three of these classes will introduce the students to equipment and software we have in the Lab, give them projects to make (while they learn how to use these things) and then allow them to create projects of their own.
And before you know it, we'll be back for another year school in the Lab.