As we prepare our students for success in college and beyond, we recognize the critical importance of integrating technology throughout the curriculum. In sixth grade science, students recently combined their research on stars, constellations and planets with Makey Makey, an invention kit that connects everyday objects to computer programs, and Scratch, a block-based programming language.
Working individually, students selected a star, inner planet, and outer planet to study. After conducting research and answering a set of questions, they created interactive posters designed to display what they learned through drawings and imagery, using minimal text. Brass fasteners were added to create interactive touchpoints on the posters, when connected to the Makey Makey kit. Then, using Scratch, students wrote code to call up a sound recording or animation when a specific key was pressed, explaining the concepts in their poster.
“Students utilized their research and writing skills as they gathered and synthesized information,” said faculty member Heather Lavezzi. “Writing and testing the code stretches their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.”