Students in grades K-5 showed off their creativity at the 1st Annual LEE Innovation Fair on January 14th, 2016. This was a twist on the traditional science fair. Instead of going through the Scientific Method, students used the Design Thinking Process to come up with innovative ideas to help make the world a better place. About 50 projects were presented to volunteers who evaluated them based on the student's use of the Design Thinking Process, whether they created a new product or adapted an existing one, and their overall presentation skills. Projects ranged i
December 7-11 was Computer Science Week around the world. According to Code.org, over 190,000 schools worldwide participated in some sort of computer science program at their school. Alpine was learning right along with everyone else all week long. On Monday and Tuesday, we had a computer scientist from the company Salesforce give presentations to every single classroom in our school. We learned about the 5 strands of computer science, as defined by the CSTA, Computer Science Teacher Association.
Now, with Wonders Technology’s teaching tools, educators can teach students as young as four years old how to program complicated technology, such as robots and 3D printers. The Tech Tray works as an input so that students without reading or typing abilities can easily get up and running. By replacing core programming words with building blocks, we’ve simplified the process into something that is not only easy and fun but also paves the way for plenty of deeper learning.
The Chief Council of State School Officers recently launched the Next State of Learning Project in response to the question, "What does innovation look like in public school classrooms across the nation?" The CCSSO identified 4 states exemplifying innovative practices and student-centered approaches to instruction - Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. The states are the first to be involved in CCSSO's Innovation Lab Network (ILN), which will work together to identify, test, and implement strategies which will transform the classroom experience.
The Medical & BioScience Academy (MBSA) at Longmont High School is now accepting applications from current 8th graders for fall 2016 enrollment in the MBSA program. Students who are interested in the health sciences, biotechnology, sports medicine, and allied health fields are encouraged to apply. Please download the full application instructions here.
On Saturday, December 5th, St Vrain educators and administrators learned about design thinking and its importance in not only our classrooms but in our professional work as well. As part of this year's district-wide design challenge, nearly 70 educators from across the district came together to flex their design thinking muscles and begin framing their thinking for this year's challenge.
Last week, K-2 students at Longmont Estates were able to participate in a hands-on STEM CU Discovery class about Polar Connections. Students learned about polar wildlife, climate, geography, and what it's like to live in that extreme environment. They were given the opportunity to compare rocks from Antarctica and Colorado, learn about insulation through experiments with ice, and test out different materials and how they hold up in the wind. We all learned that while it may be cold here in the winter, it's nothing like the extreme environments on our planet.
This week at Longmont Estates students and teachers celebrated the "Hour of Code." Each classroom actually went through coding rotations for an hour and a half. Students worked with their buddy classrooms on programming games at Code.org. Then they went into the STEM lab to help teach each other how to program our robots, Dash and Dot, Ollie, and Sphero. FInally, with help from volunteers at Intel, students learned about binary code in an unplugged activity. There has been a lot of excitement in the building about this, and it's prompted a few di