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Bee-Bots and Makey and Scratch, Oh My!
Jen Minkus

Mobile Maker carts have been seen traveling all over the building, creating a great deal of excitement and curiosity! Thanks to a grant received last spring, Director of Digital Learning and Technology, Alex Treyger, has been working with teachers to design a meaningful and authentic way for students to integrate the carts within the curriculum. Students utilize inquiry and design thinking, construction, circuitry, computational thinking, and coding to work collaboratively to solve challenges. within their groups. 

Grade 2...

Grade 2 students used robot bees called "Bee-Bots" to solve geographical quests using cardinal directions. Students worked in groups to determine how to combine coding with written directions in order to make the bots move from state to state. They learned through trial and error, recoding the bugs and reinforcing communication and group work skills. 

Grade 4...

Another highlight of the mobile makers carts is Makey Makey, which was recently utilized in Grade 4’s Energy and Magnetism unit. Together, Alex Treyger and Science Specialist, Hannah Lynch, collaborated with classroom teachers to help students explore the program through inquiry-based learning. They worked to determine which materials and objects are conductors and insulators and which are not. Ultimately, through their exploration they created an entire circuit! Students were also introduced to Scratch, an MIT coding laboratory, to learn about electricity by creating interactive educational animation. Throughout this unit, Makey Makey enabled students to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. 

Grade 5...

When you have a Maker Space, it only makes sense to have Breaker Space, where students can see what’s inside an ordinary object and learn from it! Using tools, Grade 5 students were absolutely thrilled to use mobile makers carts to take apart the inside of a computer and explore its contents. After learning about how the various elements work together, they turned the computer parts into art pieces. Upcycling the parts allowed them to create an art project that connected to their study of the explorers while emphasizing the notion of repurposing items. This learning integrated science, art, innovation, history, and humanities while igniting the natural curiosity of students. 

 

Grade 5 takes apart a computer
Grade 2 learns with bee-bots