April Newsletter

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ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

April 2013

Monthly Megabite SparkFun National Tour Visits Longwood University On Saturday, March 23rd, fifteen middle and high school students from various counties including Amelia, Buckingham, and Goochland, met at Longwood University for a whole day training in the use of microcontrollers from one of the company’s SparkFun trainers, Linz Craig. This event was part of SparkFun’s National Tour, an outreach to share and inspire an interest in electronics across the country. Students were first introduced to the kits they would be using for the day, SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Ardunio. The kit included a Uno microcontroller, various LEDs, sensors and other programmable electronics. The students explored their kits and brainstormed about different things they could invent with their electronics.

Up-Coming Events April 10th & 12th

NSTA Conference, San Antonia

April 11th & 12th

STEM-H Conference, Danville

April 16th & 18th

HP STEM Catalyst Summit, Brazil

What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 SparkFun Visit Page 2 SVRTC Awards Banquet

Next, the students were instructed on the open source programming Above: Students worked with their Uno microsoftware, Arduino. Using a booklet controller board and SIK Guide (booklet) to practice putting together various electronics guide provided in their kits,

Page 3 Visit to Dinwiddie Page 4 FreshAir Training

and program them. Continued on page 3

Enabling Today’s Teachers to Educate Tomorrow’s Leaders 1

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

April 2013

Celebrating SVRTC’s Award Recipients On Wednesday, March 27th, SVRTC school divisions were invited to come celebrate award recipients for the 2012-2013 school year at a luncheon at Longwood University. Awards included recognizing a Technology Teacher Award, Instructional Support Award and Technology Support Award for each division. Additionally, two Leadership Awards were also presented: Division Leadership Award and Technology Leadership Award. The afternoon began after co-chairs of SVRTC, Elizabeth Jamerson and Christie Clarke, welcomed attendees, special guests and guest speaker, Dr. Pamela Moran, Albemarle County Public School’s superintendent. Dr. Moran had an inspiring Above: Dr. Pamela Moran, Albemarle County School’s superin- speech for attendees. She talked about how we need to let our children know tendent, speaks at the Awards Ban- “There is a bigger world out there! There is a global community of answers.” She quet. emphasized the importance of engaging students in ways they will be comfortable by redesigning our learning spaces. “Students need choices for tools, comfort, projects, communication, and learning to create their own environments”, suggested Dr. Moran. She commended the attendees on what they are already doing in their school divisions to address their students’ needs for today’s learners. Additional special guests were also recognized at the beginning of this special event: Senator Frank Ruff, Commonwealth of Virginia, President Marge Connelly, Longwood University, Dr. Ken Perkins, Interim Vice President of Continued on page 4

Computer Security ITTIP takes Technology Competition Around the World Carnegie Mellon University is hosting an online nationwide computer security competition for high school students, from April 26, 2013 to May 6, 2013. The competition invites high school students to learn and practice authentic hacking techniques in the context of a story-driven game created by Team Osiris from Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center. The competition consists of a series of challenges where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the task. Students with experience ranging anywhere from the somewhat computer savvy, to wellversed programmers are welcome to register and learn how to identify security vulnerabilities and perform real-world attacks. This competition is being implemented in hopes to encourage students to become involved in the areas of computer science and computer security. For more information on the competition, a preview with sample problems, and registration information please visit the website at http://picoctf.com .


ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

April 2013

Guest From India Visits Dinwiddie This month, the Institute had a very special visitor from India, Ajith Basu, Chief Program Executive from Agastya International Foundation. The Institute has been collaborating with Mr. Basu for a couple years now on previous HP Catalyst Grants: GIST and its scale up, GIST-IED. He came to visit and see the progress of our current HP Catalyst Grant, Inquiry and Design Learning Experiences for Adults and Teens as New Learners. Currently, the project has begun its first stages of completion. In this stage, Dinwiddie Middle School has been working with students after school on Scratch and LilyPad Arduino projects. ITTIP’s Director, Dr. Mano Talaiver and STEM Specialist, Stephanie Playton, brought Mr. Basu to Dinwiddie Middle School to show him some of the progress the students are making on their computing projects. Above: Students explain

During the visit, two students showed off their LilyPad etextile microcontroller projects. One their Scratch projects to their visitors. young man showed a hat that he had made with LED lights shaped into his initials. He explained to his visitors that he has enjoyed the project, even though many people suggested sewing was not for boys. He talked about the importance of creating his circuits with the conductive thread and how this opportunity gave him a solid foundation of understanding circuitry. The young lady showed off a bag she was making for her mother as a Mother’s Day present. She explained to her visitors the importance of planning out her design in order to be successful with the project. The group that was working on their Scratch projects also took some time to explain their game designs. These students were working in pairs. Two students explained their project idea and implementation of creating a game show for younger students to understand how to read music. They were in the process of creating their characters (or sprites, as they call them in Scratch) and expanding their story board. The HP Catalyst project will continue with three open online course available for the adult learning. You can learn more about Inquiry and Design Learning Experiences for Adults and Teens as New Learners, by checking out our website or viewing our HP Catalyst project video on our YouTube Channel.

SparkFun Visits Longwood University (continued) they practiced putting various components together to program LED lights to turn on, make them blink and fade brightness. They later continued on to more complex tasks of incorporating different types of sensors and motors into their microcontrollers.

Above: SparkFun instructor, Linz Craig, assists one of the students with his microcontroller kit.

The students had an overwhelmingly positive response to their experience with microcontrollers, as many were talking about how they can make room to set up their own workshops at home to continue learning, building and inventing with their kits. As part of this opportunity funded through Digispired, a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the students were able to take their electronics home to continue tinkering with their electronics.


ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

SVRTC Banquet (continued) Academic Affairs, Longwood University, Brenda Atkins, Executive Assistant to the President for Governmental Affairs and Special Projects, Longwood University, and Dr. Wayne White, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Longwood University. The celebration ended with presenting all awardees with a plaque for their accomplishments (a full list of recipients can be found on the SVRTC website). While most all of the recipients knew that they would be recognized during this event, the two Leadership Awards came as a surprise to those attending. The Division Leadership Award was presented to Appomattox County, and the Technology Leadership Award was presented to Mark Webster of Colonial Heights Public Schools. Bill Wilson, Senior Technology Engineer of ITTIP and SVRTC made the closing remarks for the ceremony by thanking all that attended, including all the hard work that they do to help prepare our students for the competitive and global society. “SVRTC would not exist without your continued support!”, Above: Bill Wilson, thanks Mr. Wilson said. guests for making the SVRTC community successful.

April 2013

FreshAiR Training: An Augmented Reality Experience On Saturday, March 2nd & 9th, several teachers joined at The Community Idea Station for training in augmented reality using mobile devices integrated with the application, FreshAiR. Teachers were challenged with learning how to create a simulated experience with their iPhone or Android phones, while co-founder of FreshAiR, Dave Payne, Above: Dave Payne assists Dr. Talaiver instructed them on the in learning how to use FreshAiR. application’s capabilities to create a virtual story using sounds, videos, pictures, text, and global positioning. This professional development was designed for school divisions in Central Virginia Technology Consortium. Participants worked on creating a learning experience that tied into historical correlations. Ideas ranged from creating experiences to include historical highway landmarks to virtual tours of Hollywood Cemetery and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. One teacher even brought a couple of his high school students to assist him in creating his experience. The Institute looks forward to seeing the participant’s augmented reality experiences in their completed state sometime in the spring. Dave Payne will also be following up with the Institute and the participants to assist with any suggested changes to optimize the use of the application for educational purposes.