What have the Techniteers at Canyon View Been Up To?
The techniteer troupe at Canyon View meets every Wednesday morning from 7:45 - 8:45. Yes, that's 7:45 in the morning! Sometimes the kids even show up early. The kids started off learning about CS First, followed by SPRK with spheros, and most recently Makey Makeys. Below is a short description of each, and videos of the kids working with and exploring the tools.
CS First was developed by Google and focuses on increasing student access and exposure to Computer Science (CS) Education. This program has been developed to capture the interest of students with various likes and interests. The wonderful thing about this program is that the curriculum (aka Club Plans) and materials have already been developed, created and are ready for implementation. The CS First club plans target students in grades 4 – 8.
Scratch Game Design, Scratch Music and Sound, and Scratch Storytelling are three club plans that have been fully developed and ready for implementation. Word on the street is that by the end of the 2014 - 2015 school year there could be an additional six club plans added. The CS First program is something that you hold before or after school, during the summer, or as part of your regular computer lab time. Google will even help you find volunteers (that they call gurus) in your community to come in to help and/or teach the CS First program.
SPRK with SPheros
SPRK (Schools, Parents, Robots, Kids) was created because the developers of this program believe that play is powerful. To participate in this program all you need is a sphero. A sphero is a small white ball that can be be programmed to perform specific tasks. SPRK lessons have already been developed and are ready to be downloaded and used. The lessons are detailed enough that anyone can either teach the lesson or learn on their own. In addition to the SPRK lessons, there are also SPRK challenges. These challenges are designed to get students solving complex problems and working as a member of a team. Students will have the opportunity to create, share, and discuss concepts learned.SPRK lessons tie to different common core math standards for 4th and 5th grade. Such as:
- Percentages - mixing colors at different levels to change the color the sphero glows.
- Simple Geometry and Angles - make the sphero drive a square, pentagon, or rectangle to recreate learned shapes.
- Fractions – provide a specific fraction and have the students calculate how to adjust the sphero to get the exact color.
- Math operations – command the sphero to drive in a square, then use a multiplier or divisor to double or halve the square size.
- Logic – command the sphero to preform a sequence of steps to navigate a course.
The Makey Makey is a relatively inexpensive way to explore circuits and create controls that are just plain cool. With any conductive material, create a keyboard, game controller, or just about anything else!
Techniteer Troupe leader: camille cole
Camille Cole is an Ed Tech Specialist in Canyons School District and leads the Techniteer Troupe at Canyon View Elementary. Any questions about Canyon View's Techniteer Troupe- email firstname.lastname@example.org.