It’s hard to believe there’s only one more week of Summer Programs! We have so much to look forward to next week, the Movie Party, Spirit Week, and Open House! But before we look ahead to next week, let’s take a look back at what our students have been doing this week!
Minecraft: A Virtual Learning Adventure
Nothing says summer like a day at the beach. So we created our own beach house! It had to be a BIG house with a front driveway and a backyard. And of course, it had to be at the beach. We were also challenged to include fancy beach house features like a wrap around lanai, a big swimming pool and jacuzzi, a boat pier from the backyard to the ocean, and more!
As time permitted the students also created: a miniature golf course – 5 holes on the side of the house, a yacht for their pier, and a basketball or tennis court in the front driveway.
We started creating our new “city” world. The first feature in our city was an underground subway station with a street entrance. The street entrance had to feature a subway station sign and a fenced in stairway going down to the subway station platform. For safety, the entrance had to have street lamps. At the bottom of the entrance stairs we built a ticket booth to buy subway tickets, a gate blocking the entrance, and turnstiles for ticket holders on both sides of the gate to let people in.
On the other side of the gate & turnstiles is the subway platform where the people wait to get onto the subway. We designed the platform with tile walls, benches, and pillars to hold up the ceiling. On the other side of the platform are the subway tracks and a dark subway tunnel on both ends of the track.
Once our subway was complete, we could move on to city planning. We created sidewalks and streets around the subway entrance. Convenience is everything, so our next challenge was to build a 7-11. Like every other 7-11, ours had to include a few parking spaces, store aisles with food and drinks, and a cashier. The bonus challenge was to add gas pumps in front or on the side of the building.
THURSDAY and FRIDAY
What comes to mind when you think of a big city? That’s right, skyscrapers. We had to build a skyscraper that was at least 15 stories high with windows and an entrance that lead to a grand lobby inside.
Introduction to Robotics with Lego WeDo
This week we built and programed a frog’s life cycle (from tadpole, to froglet, to frog) and discussed the things that influence a frog’s development (habitat, pollution, disease). We then had to identify any limitations to our designs (unable to go in water like a real frog, can’t use their tongue to catch flies, can’t swim)
We moved on to plants and pollinators and specifically focused on bees. We discussed how living things help plants reproduce with a goal of creating and programming a bee and flower to mimic the relationship between pollinator and plant. We explored free builds of other pollinators: butterflies, bats, birds, lizards
How can we control water to prevent floods? We created and programed floodgates to control water levels to prevent floods. We made a water way map for our flood gate and practices some free building challenges.
Drop and rescue! Helicopters were up next. We looked at how helicopters work and created a diagram to help us understand all their parts. We continue to discuss hazards and various situations where helicopters can help save animals and humans. We successfully build helicopters with retractable hooks that after we programmed them, mimicked real life helicopter duties such as rescues, supply drops, and emergency services such as fire extinguishing.
We finished our week with a sort and recycle plan. How can we better sort recyclables to cut back on waste? We created and programed devices that can sort and recycle materials according to their size and shape.
This week we all tried our hands at writing primary articles for the newsletter. These course articles covered topics from nature exploration to robotics with Lego to driver’s education. We also had a visit from children’s book author, Mrs. Kapaona, who answered our questions on how to write a book, how to find inspiration for a topic, and even how to get past a case of writer’s block!
Robotics with Lego EV3
This week we are working on the Engineering Lab projects. These projects have us rebuilding our bots and observing how the gears work. Once we completed our Bevel Bot challenge, we were able to choose a project from the options in Google Classroom. Some of us chose to program our bot to smile, speak and wiggle. Others chose to build a Free Falling bot that helps determine the acceleration of gravity. We could also choose to build a bot that plays mini-golf. It has been an exciting week! We were free to create our own bots and program them to accomplish different tasks.
STEM Workshop: Science Olympics
Week 4 was flying high with catapults, parachutes, and airplanes! We built catapults using popsicle sticks, rubberbands, and binder clips to launch cat erasers towards our target. At first our cats were going up more than forward, so we had to adjust the angle of trajectory and found that a 45 degree angle was ideal. Some of us succeeded at accurate launches of 1 and 2 meters into a plastic bin. Some cats caught even more air time and could “fly” over 6 meters, but not as accurately. Next, we learned about how parachutes use air resistance to slow down free-falling skydivers as well as drag racing cars. Then we made our own parachutes out of paper towels/napkins and plastic bags. Last, we explored the effects of lift, thrust, drag, and gravity on paper airplanes and tried to combine all three: catapults, parachutes, and planes in one!
Story Art, Smart Art, Let’s Get ARTed
This week in Let’s Get Arted, we met the author of the children’s book “Emma’s Adventure: Mommy’s Work Trip,” Alyssa Kapaona. After Ms. Alyssa read her book, we got to ask her questions about being an author and talk story about how Emma learns to deal with separation when her mommy has to travel to a conference for work. We also had a virtual field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw all kinds of sea creatures. We wrote silly stories about jellyfish, sparking starfish, floating sea otters, and Sheila the shark!
Adventure Seekers Online
This week, we went on royal adventures and sailed the high seas as we explored the worlds of princess and pirates! We learned how to be model pirates and modern princesses. In class, we realized that princesses are not just glamorous—they are also super resourceful and can fix the prince’s interstellar jet fleet. We also made treasure gems and created maps to the super secret hiding place for our treasures, and manned their ships for a pirate ship challenge.