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Technology News February 2012

In 2/3 technology, students finished the “Engineer’s Notebook” project using the iPads. We have now started a new unit called Inventors and Inventions. This unit helps students learn more about the invention process, study famous inventors, and gain a deeper understanding of how the fields of technology and engineering have changed our world.  We’ve started with a fun invention to spark student interest: the roller coaster! Students started with using a computer simulation called WHOAler coaster, and have been working on building actual roller coasters (for marbles) the past few weeks.

WHOAler coaster can be found here:

http://pbskids.org/fetch/games/coaster/

In 4/5 technology, students have been working on becoming more expert with several different tools. We started using Google Earth as a way to understand how technology can allow us to learn more about the natural world (lots of connections to the 4/5 social studies geography here!). Over the last two weeks, we’ve been learning search strategies that can be used to become better at searching the Web for information.

The Middle School technology classes finished a major assignment called Analyzing Technology, where students were required to analyze three different styles of computer mouse and recommend one as the best choice for a school purchase. Over the last 2 weeks, we have started a new unit called Sustainable House Design. Students will be designing and building their own homes, based on a number of factors that include environmental impact, cost, and the occupants’ requirements.

The Middle School Technology elective finished the Programming with Processing class, and students displayed their work at the Curriculum Celebration. The new semester’s elective has now started, and it is entitled 3D Modeling and Prototyping. This class focuses on the engineering design process, and focuses on using Google SketchUp as a tool for creating 3D models.

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