Technology News: May 2012

The 2/3 technology classes have spent their last 2 sessions learning about macro photography, which allows us to take photos of things that are extremely small. Students had an opportunity to go outside and see the natural world in a different way, taking close-up photos of things like flowers, bark, and other things. We’re learning now how to import these photos into the computer to use in our own designs.

The 4/5 technology classes have started a new project: they are identifying and coming up with a technological solution to a problem they face in their school day. They are working in 2-3 person teams to identify a problem, then figure out and build a prototype solution. To facilitate this project, they’re using Moodle for the first time to discuss and document their work. Moodle is the online learning management system we use, and this is especially important for 5th graders who are moving up next year, as it’s a tool we use a lot in the Middle School. Lots of interesting school-day problems have been identified, and students’ solutions are really taking shape!

The Middle School technology classes are still working hard on the Sustainable House Design project. We spent 2 sessions learning about different building materials and the tradeoffs involved (for example, using a gas furnace versus a geothermal heating/cooling system).  Students are finishing up their final floor plans using graph paper, design templates, and other tools, and are working on calculating the estimated cost of construction for the house they’ve designed.  Construction has begun on several house models already as well!

The Middle School technology elective class, 3d Modeling and Prototyping, has been making great progress in the process of drawing, designing, and creating objects. Students are having great fun going through the design process, using SketchUp to bring their ideas to life in 3-D. Prototypes are being built, and we continue to go further into topics like 3-D animation, 3-D printing, and the manufacturing process.

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