I have been working with several schools this term on my Star Dome project for Matariki. The first project was completed today. The students have been highly engaged and motivated by this project and the results speak for themselves.
Hopefully another Star Dome will be completed tomorrow and an accompanying video should be published with that post too. In the meantime take a look at this first project. The teacher, Devon Hiley has posted the photos to the Primary Teachers group on Facebook too.
This week we delivered a day long DT/HM PD workshop to a group of Auckland AIMS principals. The day consisted of us unpacking the revised Digital Technologies Curriculum document, including how schools can apply for DT/HM PLD. As the day progressed it became clear that not many schools were fully aware that there is PLD funding to help schools implement the revised curriculum and so they were very pleased with the information we were able to share with them. Already four schools from the day have sought additional support from us to guide them through the application process.
During the day we got the principals to do some practical work too. We showed them the learning potential that can be gained from “unplugged” as well as computer based computational thinking activities. In the images below you can see the principals working their way through one of the two “unpugged” activities we provided for them. In the afternoon we had the princpals, flying drones, creating remote controlled cars as well as programming robots.
I do “brain gym” warm up activities with the students I work with. This week I had the children doing one of my “unplugged” CT PO2 activities, Marching Ants. It is an algorithmic thinking challenge, and as an added twist this week I got the students to solve the problem with furniture. The video below is the result.
I am for the first time running a workshop in Hamilton in the term 2 school holidays on 19 July. I am running it at the stunning new school Te Ao Mārama School in Flagstaff. Jacqui Sharp and I are also running workshops in Auckland in the term 2 holidays, so if you are in need of some inspiration for integrating coding, computational thinking and STEAM into your classroom, these workshops are for you. You can book your place on either the Auckland or Waikato workshops by clicking on the links below. We hope to see you there.
I posted a new resource a couple of weeks ago, the Star Dome project. Since then I have been introducing it into several schools that I have been working in both at Intermediate level and at Primary too. This week we are starting to get down to the nitty gritty of building the full size dome.
So far the students have learned how to create and test solderless circuits with copper tape and the necessary components required to make their chosen constellation. In addition they have all built a scale model of the eventual dome, so that they know how it all fits together, when they finally get to make the full size thing. Finally they have been researching southern hemisphere constellations as named and used by Māori. It will be these constellations, their significance and purpose that will adorn the insides of the completed Star Domes, later this term. I will post video of the completed domes here, in the meantime take a look at the kind of work the students have been doing so far.
I had a great day on Friday working with the team from Glamorgan School at the start of a new DT/HM PLD contract. We spent the day unpacking the Revised Digital Technologies curriculum document and working through lots of “unplugged” computational thinking problems. The end of the day was spent working with Makey Makey’s, which for many was their first opportunity to have a go with them. We made a “cardboard band” using Scratch, copper tape, cardboard and ofcourse Makey Makeys. I think the team really appreciated how simple, yet how powerful the computational thinking can be with the addition of a few well chosen challenges, pitched well and resources with a range of simple and cheap peripherals.