ITTIP December Newsletter

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ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2015

Monthly Megabite Wells Fargo Funding Supports Hummingbird Robotics Workshop

Above: Student works on their team’s playground model.

The Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) received funding from Wells Fargo this year to provide a student workshop on Hummingbird Robots. In collaboration with Powhatan County Public School’s middle school science teacher, Donia Spott, a seven week after school STEM Club was formed in order to facilitate this opportunity. Starting in late September, seventeen middle school students participated in one-hour after school sessions to learn about Hummingbird Robotics and CREATE Lab Visual Programmer through a problem-based activity.

The students worked as teams to create and present a playground design that had constraints including budget, square footage, child capacity, and age appropriate equipment (for elementary children). As part of the project, they also needed to incorporate moving parts into a working model using the Hummingbird Robotics kit. On the last day of the program students presented to parents, teachers, and administrators their hard work, learning, and playground design. As a continued on page 2


Up-Coming Events Dec 11th

President’s Holiday Breakfast, Longwood University

Dec 21st Jan 1st

Holiday Break, Office Closed

What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 Hummingbird Robotics Page 2 Finch Robot Page 3 Tech Spotlight/Ed

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2015

ITTIP Visits Prince Edward with Finch Robots

Above: Students navigate Finch through a maze.

Friday, November 13th, was no ordinary day for Prince Edward Elementary fourth graders in Ms. Boxley’s class. Dr. Virginia Lewis, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education from Longwood University, made a guest appearance and spent the morning teaching programming in Scratch to Ms. Boxley’s students. In the afternoon she was joined by one of her students, Jesse Blackstock. Mr. Blackstock furthered the students experiences with Scratch by introducing and facilitating programming the Finch Robot in Scratch. Both Dr. Lewis and Mr. Blackstock had attended a Finch Workshop back in October with ITTIP. ITTIP was able to attend and support the Prince Edward workshop by loaning the Finch Robots

Hummingbird Robotics (continued) result the students were able to articulate the connections they made across the curriculum, including programming, while participating in this opportunity. ITTIP’s STEM Learning Specialist, Stephanie Playton, helped facilitate and support the activity. ITTIP intends to seek more funding to do additional student workshops such as this Hummingbird workshop and the recent fall Finch Robot workshop. Above: A team’s playground model featuring a “moving” sandbox and lighting.

EdTech 2016 ITTIP takes Technology Around the World Mark your calendars and make time to learn! EdTech 2016 is scheduled for March 9, 2016 at Virginia Commonwealth University. This year’s theme is REACH Beyond: Real-world: Create a learning environment that both challenges your students and helps them make real-life connections with the content. Entrepreneurship: Inspire students to dream big and create innovative products, develop improved systems, or provide new services that impact their local and global community. Adaptive: Differentiate instruction with any object, application, or system specifically designed to increase or maintain the capabilities of diverse learners. Creativity: Think ?outside the box? to provide innovative learning experiences which give students opportunities to apply their creative thinking to contribute to the world around them using technology. Higher-order Thinking: Encourage your students to stretch their thinking and reach beyond surface level understanding to a deeper level of learning through analyzing, evaluating, and creating with technology. The conference team is in the process of collecting presentation proposals now. 2