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[Week 01] Afternoon Programs

kids building robots

We hope you all had a wonderful first week of Summer Programs. The first week is always a little bit crazy, but we didn’t let that stop us from having an exciting week of exploration and creativity.

Each week, we will have our teachers provide a brief summary of what your children did in class.

creator space graphicCREATOR SPACE
In our first week, we created cover art for our sketchbooks using crayons and colored pencils to draw images that reflect who we are or the things we like, learned how to fold paper snowflakes, and painted them using watercolor paints. We are finishing the week making small-scale “floating pictures” using clear contact paper and colored pieces of tissue paper.

drama acting iconDRAMA: JUST ACT
Students began the week with improvisations to lift what I call “The veil of inhibition.” They also learned how to hold a script and do a proper cold read, introduced themselves in the form of doing a slate, rehearsed scenes utilizing movie scripts they have been assigned, and performed cold reads in front of the class, with the intent of being off book by Thursday, June 9th. After that, we will begin brainstorming what will become our group play. Students were introduced to the following lessons which will be constantly reinforced over and over again (‘repetition is the mother of skill’):
1) there are always three (3) forms of acting (dialogue, expression, body);
2) change is the essence of human behavior, what attracts attention, hence, imbue “change” into the delivery of all three forms of acting and they will come across as being more natural; and
3) patterns are what constitute things that look unnatural, hence refrain from repetitive movements and/or speech patterns of doing the same thing.

science lab live on planet earthLIFE ON PLANET EARTH
This week we learned about what organisms need to live and explored some of the different biomes on our planet.

minecraft class logo graphicMINECRAFT
Rules, Rituals, and Routines: We went through the different expectations in the classroom, including daily routines using Google Classroom, Minecraft, and Class Dojo.

Internet Safety: Students learned about the importance of not sharing personal information online through paper and virtual activities. They were given scenarios and pieces of information where they then brainstormed whether or not the information should be shared online and the lasting effects they could have. The activities included:
Share with Care – what information should you be sharing (or not sharing) on the internet?
It’s Cool to be Kind – how do you have a positive impact and disempower bullying?
Don’t Fall For Fake – what does phishing messages and harmful behavior look like?
Secure Your Secrets – how do you make a secure password?
When in Doubt Talk it Out – use the skills they’ve learned to be internet brave

We began our first Minecraft Unit: Biodiversity by exploring the Extinction! Safari: In this unit students will learn about the importance of biodiversity and how it has shaped the world in which we live. They will explore core concepts related to biodiversity, learn about values, threats, and sustainable species management. They will learn about the threats to biodiversity currently contributing to its global decline and experience how their decisions today can have an important impact on the world.

ev3 logo graphicROBOTICS WITH LEGO EV3
This week we learned the basics of coding. The students created their names on a website called Scratch. They were asked to have their own and their partners name on their project. Then they created animations that interacted with their names.
We also started a Scratch project that will be completed over the course of the program. The students will be able to choose from making a story, animation, game, or interactive screen on scratch. They will be given time to work on this project daily. This project is used to reinforce the creativity that can come through coding.
On Wednesday, we began our first Lego Mindstorms build. We are starting with the basics by making a driving robot. Each week we will explore a new sensor on the robots. Next week we will focus on the touch sensor.

lego we-do graphic logoROBOTICS WITH LEGO WEDO
For this week, the students were introduced to building simple Lego models such as the “glowing snail” and a “cooling fan” to get their feet wet on what the class will be like. Over the summer, students will work in groups of 2-3 to practice cooperation and their team-building skills. At the end of the week, we moved on to a guided project. Students were introduced them the concepts of pulling and speed, and they learned how to program their smart hubs in the WeDo software.

robotics vex iconROBOTICS WITH VEX
We started the week with a few activities to get to know each other and the students were organized into collaborative groups. After learning the scope and goal of this class (be able to compete in a robotic competition), student started building a robot using a building guide and incorporating their own ideas. We had lessons in coding/programming the motor and performed tests to ensure wheels will work on their robot designs.

stem olympics course iconSTEM: SCIENCE OLYMPICS
Week 1 of Science Olympics started off with a paper chain challenge to build the longest chain out a a sheet of construction paper and 50 cm of masking tape. Students worked in teams of 5 to cut, connect, and assemble their chains. In the first trial, the ORANGE TEAM took the early lead, building their 3.8 meter chain quickly and with great teamwork. Other chains ranged from 1.07-3.17 meters. Some teams were not able to finish in the 15 minutes, so after some reflection on what could be improved (longer strips to make larger rings, building from both ends at the same time, and better coordination of tasks), we did a 2nd round with twice the amount of paper and 30 cm of tape. Final results with the total of both chains are shown below.

1. Orange 9.51 m
2. Red 8.44 m
3. Green 6.56 m
4. Yellow 5.14 m
5. Blue 3.47 m

After this icebreaker activity, we discussed the Engineering Design Process (EDP) and learned about all of the steps: Ask –> Research –> Imagine –> Plan –> Create –> Test –> Improve –> Share/Present. Then we practiced putting the steps in order and matching them to the actions done in each step. That was just Day 1!

Next we started our first challenge, “Wheeled Vehicles” where we built a simple car out of foam core board, wooden axels and wheels, and straws. Our task was to build a car that would go the farthest distance possible. We powered the cars with different energy sources: inclined plane (ramp), compressed air (balloon), and possibly mousetraps. We spent part of Day 2 building our cars and the other half constructing ramps out of cardboard to roll the cars down. On Day 3 we tested out our cars and collected data on the distances traveled at different release heights. We then used our data and observations to modify and improve our cars to get ready for the competition on Day 4.  Which team did the best?  Ask your child to tell you all about the exciting race.

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