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Students and teachers used a variety of technology to host a successful science fair this year. The science fair website provided great resources including guides, links and videos. Students investigated a wide range of topics for their projects including bioplastics, solar cooking, water filtration and producing
electricity from renewable sources. These scientific and technological investigations are preparing students for a future in a world impacted by climate change. They were engaged in thinking about ways they can make a difference in the world.
This project examines the theme of injustice through the lens of literature (English and Spanish), Geography and History. Each students is doing research on a historical personal account and using that to create a multi-media art piece. As part of the process, students are using NoodleTools to create an annotated bibliography to research, evaluate and synthesize ideas for developing the project. NoodleTools allows teachers to give quick and effective feedback while in the formative stages of student thinking.
Seniors in AP English class have recently read the book Grendel by American author John Gardner. It is a retelling of part of the Old English poem Beowulf from the perspective of the antagonist, Grendel. The novel deals with finding meaning in the world, the power of literature and myth, and the nature of good and evil. Students used Glogster to create an interactive poster based on a chapter from the book emphasizing the astrological connections to the characters and themes throughout the book. They identified heroic and philosophical values as well as including sound and video in their posters. See the rubric to learn how this project was assessed or click on the following links to interact with posters from chapter 6 and chapter 2. Students were engaged in learning about analyzing and interpreting text for their interactive posters.
Students in the new AP Cambridge Capstone Seminar are using various technology to complete this rigorous course, which requires students to use and expand their information literacy skills to engage in rigorous scholarly practice of core academic skills. They are using NowComment to discuss contemporary articles on political, social and economic issues. Students respond individually to each paragraph of the article or to the entire text. This works well for homework assignments to introduce the next day's topic. Students engage with the text, make some analytical judgments and written comments. It facilitates a more in-depth discussion or essay or research assignment in class. See more about NowComment in an earlier post.
in addition to the rigorous AP assessment at the end of the year. Student work is even evaluated by TurnItIn for plagiarism. Students in this class are using truly technology in sophisticated ways to prepare for success in college.
The 3D printing class is learning about different ways this new technology is impacting culture and society. Students research different applications and describe the technical difficulties designers and engineers overcome and the benefits and drawbacks to the economy, environment and society. One student presented about the applications of 3D printing in the food industry - can you imagine printing your dinner in the near future? Other presentations include the history of 3D printing (it is older than you think) and 3D printing and gun control. Students are engaged in learning more about the technology they work with in this elective class and get inspired by the possibilities. More students will soon have access to 3D printing opportunities as well when the library printer comes online sometime in November.
Image by Subhashish Panigrahi
performing an investigation and preparing for the science fair presentation.
Several projects used or investigated technologies more than others. One team used 3D printing and electronics to create a prosthetic hand. Another team used lasers and magnifying glasses to investigate refraction. Others experimented with reducing environmental impacts by reducing water use and creating renewable energy sources. Students were motivated throughout the project because of their ability to investigate their personal interests.
Grade 9 science, while not in the science fair this year, are doing their part to scaffold the scientific method in a way that makes it easier for students when they participate in science fair in grade 10.
Students are using Flipboard to curate their own resources for science fair next year. It will also enable them to share resources and "follow" their peers' resources - much like you would follow someone on Pinterest or Twitter, for example.
Students also used Padlet to share ideas for Science Fair that were sourced at Science Buddies. At the end of this quarter, students will be sharing a scientific question, hypothesis, and three Ebsco-sourced background research documents related to their question with their teacher and Science department head. The science department is providing time for these activities, in addition to other tasks intended to build competency in producing quality scientific research, so students will spend less time trying to determine what they want to research - and more time doing the research!