What's Happening in Tech?
What's Happening in Tech?

We've been having so much fun in Tech Class, we wanted to share our experiences with you! Read this bi-weekly column that highlights the wide variety of concepts, skills, and projects that students are working on. 

This week, we'll focus on Lectrify sculptures in Kindergarten, the 5th Grade Lego robotics unit, and the Tech elective class.

What is Lectrify?

Lectrify was developed by a STEAM/Maker teacher who wanted an easier way to teach basic electronics to young children. There are various components available, including LED lights, battery holders with switches and motors. 

Featured Kindergarten Lectrify Project

In Kindergarten, we start by learning how simple circuits work. We take LED diodes and light them up using coin cell batteries. Next, we learn how to make our Lectrify LEDs light up using pipe cleaners and battery holders. For the past two Tech classes, students took their Lectrify circuits and are building a light up sculpture. These sculptures will be showcased at Open House in May. We hope you stop by to see them!

What is Lego Robotics?

A favorite among elementary school computer science classes, the Lego Robot EV3 kits are used to teach a wide variety of concepts including design thinking, engineering, and programming. 

Featured 5th Grade Lego Robotics Project

Mr. McCarthy began our 5th Grade Lego robotics project this month through a series of design challenges while students work in small groups. Students' first challenge was to make a robot that can move in some way. The second challenge will be to create an autonomous Lego vehicle that can react to obstacles using one or more sensors. In challenge #3 students will create a robot that can perform a task, such as picking something up or moving something around.

Once all three challenges are completed, we'll begin brainstorming and designing our own robots that will culminate in the 5th Grade Lego Exhibition. In past years students have created a guitar-bot, t-shirt folding robot, basketball robots and more. We're excited to see what projects will be created this year!  

What is Piper?

An essential part of digital literacy, Piper is a build your own computer kit that allows students to learn firsthand how a computer works.  

Featured Tech Elective Class Project

Students are in the process of building the cases that hold the Piper computer components. Once the cases are built, students will learn about the components of a computer and will follow instructions on how to attach the circuits correctly. From there, we'll turn our computers on and use them for simple programming projects. Lastly, students will deconstruct the Pipers so they're ready for another group of students during our next elective class.