Loading
Archive | Technology RSS feed for this section

Fun With Science For HC Science Olympiads

Honey Creek elementary students, from grades 2 – 5, have taken part in The Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad (WESO) since 2011. WESO is the largest Science Olympiad in the country with over 30 schools competing. Our Honey Creek team philosophy is to have fun with the science. This experience not only teachers our students to learn more about their event’s focus, but they also learn the essentials of teamwork and the value of working together to find a solution. In 2014, Honey Creek’s school team was made up of 15 students comprising 11 teams. Of those teams, 2 medaled and 9 received ribbons. We are very proud of our Honey Creek Science Olympians. To learn more about WESO please visit: http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/wesowizards.home/about.

Technology News: November 2013

2/3 Technology Update

In the 2nd/3rd grade technology classes, we’ve been continuing our exploration of the question, “What is technology?”. This has taken several forms over the weeks in October.

One week, students took a “virtual field trip” around the state of Michigan using Google Earth. We talked about how this technology works, and looked at several famous places in Michigan, including the Mackinac Bridge. Over the next two weeks, we used the topic of bridges to explore how technology and engineering differs when we use real-world tools versus computerized tools.

The first week, students watched a historical source video about the building of the Mackinac Bridge and then built physical models of bridges using K’nex. The students had great fun testing these to see how much weight they could hold!

IMG_2944 IMG_2966 IMG_2991

The next week, we watched a short video that showed how engineers and designers use computer simulations before building to test their ideas, and the students got a chance to try their hand at a computer simulation called Cargo Bridge. They really enjoyed using this fun simulation, and we were able to have deeper conversations about using physical materials as compared to building virtual bridges using the computer simulation.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 10.51.04 AM

These rich experiences of using Google Earth, building and testing K’Nex bridges and using the computer simulation led into two weeks of students writing about their experiences, using their Google Drive accounts. This is a tool used widely across the 2/3 curriculum, and is a tool that students will be using as they continue at Honey Creek. The first week, students accessed this using the laptops, and the second week they used the iPads to compare and contrast those experiences.

4/5 Technology Update

In the 4/5 technology classes this month, students have been learning Scratch programming, which teaches computational thinking, computer graphics, creativity, and math concepts such as the  X/Y coordinate system. There is a ton of excitement around this project, which will continue into November/December. Look for final student projects at Curriculum Celebration in January!

IMG_3308 IMG_3310

During the most recent week of the project, students also learned about an exciting new way to interact with their Scratch projects – the MaKey MaKey! This board plugs into the computer and lets you turn almost anything into a button. For example, one student made a Scratch project that played a sound when a blob of Play-Doh was touched, using the MaKey MaKey to take advantage of the conductive properties of Play-Doh!

IMG_3374IMG_3369

 

MS Technology Update

This month, students have been working hard on finishing their Tamarack Video Diary project. They’ve been downloading photos and video to use in their diaries, editing in iMovie, creating or downloading music to add as soundtracks, and writing narration to be recorded as voiceovers. Look for these finished products to be displayed at the Winter Curriculum Celebration in January!

MS Technology Elective (Web Design) Update
In the Web Design class, students have been continuing to learn the basics of HTML and CSS, through a series of carefully-paced learning modules running on our school’s Moodle server. For each learning module, the students are asked to create an assignment showing the skill, such as using CSS to change the color or size of text on a Web site.

One exciting new development this month is the introduction of Coder, a tool for the Raspberry Pi platform that allows students to easily create their own projects using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Students have set up two Raspberry Pi computers to run as Coder development environments, and are cranking out interesting and creative web apps!

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.08.19 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.26.31 AM

Technology News: October 2013

2/3 Technology

It has been a great start to the year in 2/3 technology so far! In our first session, we started with the question, “What is technology?” Students learned about our iPad cart, and used the iPads to do a video recording of each other answering that question.

2/3 Technology - September 2013

 

We’ve also done some more work towards building an understanding of what technology is by doing a drawing with pencil & paper, then doing the same drawing with a computer program. This allows us to compare & contrast between the two sets of tools and experiences.
2/3 Technology - September 2013

2/3 Technology - September 2013

 

4/5 Technology

4/5 Technology has seen our students growing and learning about the various types of technology we use here at Honey Creek. The 4/5 classes have started using a service called ClassDojo, which is a system for keeping track of students’ behavior and participation. Students got a chance to see it in action, and created their own logins and avatars. It was a lot of fun!

Example ClassDojo screenshot
Example ClassDojo screenshot

Our 4/5 students have also been getting up to speed with their Google Apps accounts, which allow them to use Google Drive and other services. They’ll be using these throughout their work in 4/5s during this year.

We’ll be starting our first major project in the next few weeks after doing a quick overview of using iMovie on the iPads, which makes for an extremely useful and easy way to shoot and edit video on the fly.

Middle School Technology

The Middle School technology classes jump straight into their first major project for the year in week 1. Each student is creating their own video diary based on their experience at Camp Tamarack (or, for those who did not attend camp, based on another memorable experience). This project is done in conjunction with the autobiographical/narrative writing unit in Language Arts, since there are major themes that overlap.

During the first week of class, students learned about the project and did a quick engineering design activity. While we were at camp, we shot a total of 2,143 photos and videos, the majority of which were taken by the students!

Each student is now using Google Drive and iMovie to sort, organize and edit these video clips and photos into a cohesive narrative describing their experience. We’ll be working on this for the next month or so.

MS Technology Elective – Web Design

The Middle School technology elective for Semester 1 is Web Design. Students enrolled in this elective will be learning the basics of designing and programming a Web site.  So far, we’ve started learning HTML and CSS, and students will be continuing to grow these skills as we progress further.

Technology News: June 2013

Technology News

2/3 Technology

This month’s technology classes have been integrated with the 2/3 science curriculum. Students are currently studying Energy: Sound & Light in science, and all the technology activities for this month have been based on those same concepts.

The first week, we learned about how sound travels, and built sound-transmission devices. Below is a photo of 2 students testing theirs out:

Photo 2013-05-31 09.21.39 AM

We also used an interactive simulation called String Thing that let students explore the way different factors affect sounds produced by a string under tension. These factors included string length and the amount of tension on the string, something they had seen when building their sound transmission devices with paper cups and string.

After exploring sound, we moved into exploring light. One fun activity involved converting light energy into electrical energy, using solar panels. Students used LEGO solar panels and motors to try this out, as shown below:

A student tests his solar-powered machine
A student tests his solar-powered machine

Finally, we wrapped up with another interactive simulation that showed how light works. The Engineeringinteract.org site has a great activity that gets students to read about and explore how light works.

http://www.engineeringinteract.org/resources/alienattack/alienattacklink.htm

Engineering Interact screenshot - light activity
Engineering Interact screenshot – light activity

4/5 Technology

This month, students have been engaged in an inquiry-based activity. The hypothetical situation for this activity is that they need to buy 30 light bulbs for a house they’ve inherited. They must choose from among 3 types of bulbs: incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), and LED. Each type of bulb uses different technologies to produce light, along with having different impacts on the environment, energy use, and light output.

A student measure the light output of one of the 3 types of bulbs.
A student measure the light output of one of the 3 types of bulbs.

Student used high-tech tools to measure the light output, heat produced, and energy used by the 3 different types of bulbs. They are now working on analyzing their data and writing up their final conclusion as to which bulb they’d choose, supported by the data they have gathered.

Calculations from the inquiry activity
Calculations from the inquiry activity

Middle School Technology

The middle school students are continuing to work on their Solar Vehicles project. Many students have finished building and testing their vehicles, and are now working on writing their final report to complete the portfolio of work for the project.

A student's solar vehicle in process.
A student’s solar vehicle in process.

During Maturation week, the middle school students all participated in a Digital Citizenship discussion. This covered topics such as online privacy and safety, usage of social networks, and cyberbullying. This was a great discussion with each of the 3 grade levels.

Middle School Technology Elective

The Assistive Technology elective class continues to work on their various projects. During the month of May, students finished their One-Button games and the accessible switches they built. They also investigated assistive technology apps on the iPads, and some students have begun to work on a final project of their choosing.

One special item of note: this week, the class was able to do a live video hangout with Andrew VandenHeuvel. Andrew is a Google Glass Explorer, which means he’s one of the first people in the world with Google Glass, the new wearable computing device. Our class participated in a STEMbite science activity, and then spent some time talking with Andrew about Google Glass.

You can see a video overview of this exciting activity here:

https://vimeo.com/67396138

Technology News: May 2013

2/3 Technology
Students have finished building and testing their boats, and finished compiling the packets of work that they created during the course of the project. Boats will be on display at the Spring Curriculum Celebration. Great work, 2/3 students!
A finished 2/3 boat project. A finished 2/3 boat project.
4/5 Technology
Students have finished building and testing their vibrobots, and finished compiling the Keynote presentations that they created during the course of the project. These Keynote presentations show their project work from start to finish. Vibrobots will be on display at the Spring Curriculum Celebration. Great work, 4/5 students!
For now, check out the video below that shows one of the finished Vibrobots.

Middle School Technology
In April, students have been finishing their final design drawings and moving into building and testing their solar-powered vehicles.
A student finishes final design plans for his solar vehicle. A student finishes final design plans for his solar vehicle.
 
Students have a range of materials to choose from when building their vehicles, including foam, cardboard, foamcore, and plastic. The vehicles are starting to take shape for most students. See some examples below:
A student uses the hot-wire cutter to cut the foam body for his solar-powered vehicle. A student uses the hot-wire cutter to cut the foam body for his solar-powered vehicle.
A student's solar vehicle in process. A student’s solar vehicle in process.
A student uses the drill press to create axle holes for her solar vehicle. A student uses the drill press to create axle holes for her solar vehicle.
A student's solar vehicle in process. A student’s solar vehicle in process.
A student's solar vehicle in process. A student’s solar vehicle in process.
 
After getting the vehicles built, testing and recording data is the next step in determining the success of the design.
A student tests her solar-powered vehicle. A student tests her solar-powered vehicle.
Students measure light intensity and test solar panels. Students measure light intensity and test solar panels.
A student measures light intensity and records results on an iPad. A student measures light intensity and records results on an iPad.
Testing the voltage from a solar panel. Testing the voltage from a solar panel.
MS Tech Elective: Assistive Technology
The 2nd semester Assistive Technology elective is going very well.
Students have been finishing up their first project: one-button video games. They have been working hard on troubleshooting and fixing bugs in their games, getting them turned in through our Moodle online learning system, and moving on to the extension activity for this project.
Screenshot from a student's one-button game.
Screenshot from a student's one-button game.
The extension activity for this project is to build a prototype switch that could be used to play the one-button games. Students have been working with cardboard to build prototypes, and then moving on to use other materials, such as thermoplastic donated by a parent who works in Occupational Therapy.
A student works on his prototype switch. A student works on his prototype switch.
Students work with thermoplastic, using it to make custom molds from their wrist and hands. Students work with thermoplastic, using it to make custom molds from their wrist and hands.
Students work with thermoplastic, using it to make custom molds from their wrist and hands. Students work with thermoplastic, using it to make custom molds from their wrist and hands.
A student works on her prototype switch. A student works on her prototype switch.
A student's prototype switch, using a spring and thermoplastic. A student’s prototype switch, using a spring and thermoplastic.

Technology News: April 2013

In 2/3 technology, students have been finishing up our Boat Design unit, which ties in to the 2/3 Science curriculum. They have been hard at work testing their boat designs and recording data, as well as taking videos and photos of their finished boats.

IMG_9421 IMG_9424

4/5 Technology

In the 4/5 technology classes, students have been working hard on an exciting new hands-on project called Vibrobots!

20130301-094504.jpg

Students have taken these ordinary mint tins and transformed them into some amazing motorized creations! Here are a couple photos of work in progress:

mazzy-dremel3
A student works on drilling holes for her vibrobot’s legs using the Dremel Drill Press
photo 1 (1)
A vibrobot in progress
photo 2 (1)
Vibrobot with legs and motor

 MS Technology

The Middle School technology classes have been working on an exciting engineering design-based project in which they are designing, building, and testing solar-powered vehicles. Students have been working hard on their design work and have mostly finished their final design drawings. Here are some examples:

20130409-151329.jpg

20130409-151348.jpg

Most students are using pencil and paper, but a few have been using Google Sketchup to design 3-D models of their vehicles, as shown below:

20130409-150541.jpg

From here, students choose materials and begin building their vehicles.

 

MS Technology Elective

The 2nd semester technology elective is focused on Assistive Technology. Students have begun their first project in which they are designing one-button video games. These can be used in occupational therapy to encourage people to stretch muscles after surgery, build flexibility and so on. They can also be used by our High Point friends, using the simple switches that many of them are used to!

A student teaches the class how to use a programming technique in Scratch
A student teaches the class how to use a programming technique in Scratc

Technology News: March 2013

2/3 Technology

In 2/3 technology, students have been working on our Boat Design unit, which ties in to the 2/3 Science curriculum. Students have been hard at work brainstorming, sketching, measuring, and beginning to build! Take a look at the short video below, which shows our students working on their boat designs in anticipation of beginning to build and test!

http://vimeo.com/60565783

4/5 Technology

In the 4/5 technology classes, students have started an exciting new hands-on project called Vibrobots! In this project, students are building battery-powered robots that shimmy, shake, and dance! Along the way, they are also documenting all their project work by combining written notes, photos and videos, and organizing this in a Keynote presentation using the iPads. Soon, they’ll be adding motors, legs, and batteries so their creations can come to life!

Middle School Technology

The Middle School technology classes have begun a new engineering design-based project in which they will be designing, building, and testing solar-powered vehicles. There are nice tie-ins to science and math in this unit as well, and I am really excited about seeing what the students create! Student have been working hard on their design work and are getting close to having final design drawings done. From here, students will choose materials and begin building their vehicles.

MS Technology Elective

In the Middle School technology elective, we have gotten underway with our new course for Semester 2.

The 2nd semester technology elective is focused on Assistive Technology. Students will be working on and learning about how technology can help people overcome physical or other challenges. We’re planning on partnering with a Honey Creek parent who works with patients at U-M hospital, building video games that challenge them to exercise muscles and regain flexibility during occupational therapy. We are also hoping to partner with some of the High Point classrooms.

During the class, students will be using the engineering design process to identify problems and opportunities, brainstorm potential solutions, and create artifacts that help people, whether those artifacts are digital (like a video game) or physical (like a tool or implement).

Technology News: February 2013

In 2/3 technology, students finished up their “All About Me” presentations with Google Docs. They have been very excited about making a project that captures who they are and what they are interested in, and have been sharing these with me using the collaboration features of Google Docs. They also completed a short unit building their understanding of how to do Web-based research (finding a site or image, saving the Web address to get back to that resource, etc). We will be starting our Boat Design unit soon, which ties in to the 2/3 Science curriculum.

In the 4/5 technology classes, students have finished their “Pure Michigan” ads. Students wrote poems during Language Arts time, and recorded themselves reading these poems aloud using our USB microphones and GarageBand. They also searched the Web for images that relate to the Michigan place their poems are about, and built their final movies in iMovie, pulling these images, sounds and words together. We are about to start an exciting new hands-on project called Vibrobots in the new semester!

The Middle School technology classes finished our inquiry- based lesson dealing with the local businesses near Honey Creek, and are beginning a new engineering design-based project in which they will be designing, building, and testing solar-powered vehicles. There are nice tie-ins to science and math in this unit as well, and I am really excited about seeing what the students create!

In the Middle School technology elective, we wrapped up the Appropriate Technology elective, and are beginning our Assistive Technology unit. Students will be working on and learning about how technology can help people overcome physics or other challenges. We’re planning on partnering with a Honey Creek parent who works with patients at U-M hospital, building video games that challenge them to exercise muscles and regain flexibility during occupational therapy. We are also hoping to partner with some of the High Point classrooms.

Technology News: January 2013

In 2/3 technology, students have been creating their “All About Me” presentations with Google Docs. They have been very excited about making a project that captures who they are and what they are interested in, and have been sharing these with me using the collaboration features of Google Docs.

In the 4/5 technology classes, students have been working on a new cross-curricular project that integrates technology, language arts, and social studies, based on the “Pure Michigan” ads. Students wrote poems during Language Arts time, and have now been working on recording themselves reading these poems aloud using our USB microphones and GarageBand. They’ve also been searching the Web for images that relate to the Michigan place their poems are about, and building a movie in iMovie that pulls these images, sounds and words together.

The Middle School technology classes have been working on a new place-based education project dealing with technology and its relationship to our society. Students have been using the inquiry process of asking questions to learn more about the local businesses next to our school that make asphalt and construction materials, and gaining a deeper understanding of why these businesses exist and how they impact our society and environment.

In the Middle School technology elective, students finished their second major project, which saw them using the engineering design process to create devices that will produce clean, drinkable water. They are now working on a research project dealing with transportation technology in a 3rd world country.

Technology News: November 2012

In 2/3 technology, students have had an introduction to Google Apps, learning how to use these tools for their own writing as well as getting a taste of collaborative writing & editing. They have really enjoyed the way these tools let them write together, as well as the way it automatically saves their work. We’ve also started our next project, called “kinetic contraptions”. This project started with a physics-based simulation app on the iPads called Tinkerbox, which let the students manipulate objects to make a ball go down a particular path or achieve a pre-determined goal. Now we’re taking those same concepts and ideas into the real world, as students work in teams to build their own contraptions!
In the 4/5 technology classes, students have finished their proposals for what they’d like to record with our highspeed slow motion cameras, and have been busy recording their videos. Most of them are now finished recording and have been working on editing their videos and recording their observations. The Middle School technology classes have been working hard on finishing proposals for using our Vernier data collection tools to investigate the natural world in ways they couldn’t with their own 5 senses. This also has a great tie-in with the recent science field trip; we brought along the same tools and used them in tandem with more traditional water  testing tools to compare and contrast the two ways of testing water. You can see the Field Trip Data Collection photos here:
Middle School Water Testing
In the Middle School technology elective, students finished building their solar ovens, tested them, collected data on their performance, and even got to taste the fruits of their labors by cooking S’Mores with their ovens! You can see their Solar Ovens photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/honeycreekcommunityschool/sets/72157631857453249/
They have now moved on to their second project, focused on making tools to produce clean, drinkable water.

Close
loading...