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For the 2015-2016 school year, 6th-8th grade students have 3 new choices for their quarterly STEM enrichment classes: video production, bridge design, and programming. The video production course focuses on using technology and apps to create daily video announcements and other school- and community-related videos. Students have really been enjoying taking advantage of green screen technology. Avery, a 7th grader, said, "I like this class because we get to stand in front of a green screen and try crazy things!"
In bridge design, individual students are using ModelSmart pre-engineering software to design and test balsa wood bridges prior to building the physical model and testing with weights. Students are also learning about all of the types of bridges and designing a bridge of their choice using K'Nex to span a 1 meter gap. Then, each student group tests their design using toy vehicles and other stress elements. "I like how you can be creative with your design and how everyone's design is different. Some may work, some might not," commented Lisette, a 7th grade student in the class.
Programming is being offered using the Inventor's Kit from SparkFun Electronics, a local company. Students are using Arduino programming interactions with hardware to complete tasks like making a light blink and driving a motor. "I like that when you grow up, you've learned about electrical stuff," said 6th grader, Trevon, "so if something with wires isn't working, you'll probably know how to fix it."