Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Exploring With Dash!

Students K-5 began working with Dash the robot this past week, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future as we explore how technology is used to improve people's lives!

The focus of this unit is How can technology create equity and help improve quality of life? In order to unpack that big idea, we had to talk about Global Goal #10, Reduced Inequalities, and the ideas of equity and equality.

We first talked about students noticed about these photos and the difference between Equality and Equity. The students were very astute and quickly noticed how equity makes sure everyone is successful, rather than equality, which gives everyone the same help regardless of if they need it or if it is enough. 

Mrs. Newton also shared this image with us, which shows all three people successful just as they are, because the systemic barrier has been removed. That's the idea behind Global Goal #10, Reduced Inequalities for everyone. 

After that really insightful conversation, students were given opportunities in groups to explore how to use Dash and manipulate their robots effectively. This week we will continue this work with obstacle courses!



 It was a couple of great afternoons with lots of laughs and smiles. and this week should be just as fun and full of learning! Soon we will begin researching how technology improves people's lives, and the students will learn to program Dash to assist others. Can't wait!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Designing For Others

Students took their new understanding of designing with empathy in STEAM to make a gift for a classmate last week. This week they will give their gift to their friend and they will write reflections in the form of thank you notes. Looking forward to hearing their feedback on how it feels to design for others!


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Designing With Empathy In Mind

STEAM this week was challenging, and pushed students to remember to put the WHO we are designing for before the WHAT we are designing.

First we talked about the Stanford d.school Design Thinking Process, which begins with empathy and asks the students to consider who we are designing for before we go anywhere in the process. Then we asked them to reassemble the hexagons and words at their tables. The older students will do this BEFORE the discussion and hopefully will be able to use their years of STEAM experience to remember the order in which we operate!

We then asked students to partner up and immediately begin designing the ideal and perfect gift for him or her. Students were immediately frustrated, confused, and struggled--wondering, how can we design for our partner if we don't really know them? Partners who are already friends felt confident they were on the right track, but we kept pushing them to consider, do they know the WHYs behind their likes and dislikes? Even best friends can dig deeper! So we had the partners interview each other to find out what would be most useful and interesting to them and everyone was much more successful!

After interviews, students drafted three potential gifts for their partner, then received feedback from that partner on their designs. Only then did they choose their final design and begin making a detailed sketch with materials in mind.

Next week the students will have one day to turn these plans into reality! Ask your students who their partner is and what gift they are designing for them in STEAM!