Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016-17 STEM Lab Sneak-Peek!

Greetings Panthers and Panther Parents!
I am so excited about the incredible new materials and resources for this year! We will continue to use the courses and Scratch as our foundation, but I am very pleased to announce that Piney Point has been selected by HISD to take part in a new partnership with Tynker. This will be a tremendous boost to our programming curriculum!
Computer Science is becoming a required subject all across the United States and the world. Several studies have shown that introducing the basic concepts and an understanding of the principles of programming has tremendous benefits for elementary age children. It promotes logic and trains the mind to think analytically, it requires that you revise, edit, and pay careful attention to details, and most of all it teaches persistence!
The programs we use allow a great deal of creative expression and tap into the natural human need to explore and invent. They also allow students to learn at their own pace and encourage collaboration and communication.
Students will be thrilled to apply their coding prowess to the physical world with a wide variety of robots. We have LEGO EV-3, WeDo STEM, Bee Bots, Pro Bots, and brand-new this year - Ozobots. Each of these highly engaging devices creates the perfect mix of programming skills, code language, robotic behavior, deductive reasoning and interactive play!
5th grade students completing the core coursework will be introduced to Tinkercad - a student friendly introduction to 2 and 3-D design. Students successfully mastering this tool will have access to our new 3-D printer.
But the STEM Lab isn't all coding! Students will work collaboratively to solve literature-based engineering challenges, construct Rube Goldberg machines and Great Ball Contraptions, and sharpen their teamwork and problem solving skills with Breakout EDU boxes!
It is going to be an amazing year!