Students dive into many creative and collaborative projects throughout the school year in STEAM. During the Fall term students begin by developing their computer skills, and learn how to use the internet safely. Students navigate the ins and outs of both My IMS as well as Google programs and learn how to use these skills inside the classroom. In addition, topics such as cyberbullying, privacy, and how to safely share information online were all addressed. Once students demonstrate a solid understanding of these platforms and skills it is then time for them to apply them, think critically, and collaborate with their classmates during many different projects and units. Students work both independently and at their own pace using Tynker.com an online program to learn the beginnings of the computer languages of Java and Python through interactive lessons. Furthermore, in small groups students re-created their own version of the show “Shark Tank” and invented a new product and presented their sales pitch to their classmates. During the Animation Unit students channeled their creativity and mathematical thinking while learning the various steps of the animation process. Students began by analyzing a few Pixar Short films and wrote definitions of ‘animation’ that evolved over the course of the term as they gained a further understanding of the process. Students learned the math and science behind the art of animation using “Pixar in a Box,” a collaboration between Pixar and Khan Academy, and completed interactives that demonstrated their understanding of the process.
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