STEM Learners 1.4
1.4 - Students use technology resources to conduct research, demonstrate creative and critical thinking, and communicate and work collaboratively.
At Barbara Morgan STEM Academy students have access to many technology tools for research, collaborating, creating, investigating, and critical and creative thinking. Every classroom is equipped with at least 2:1 devices. Primary classrooms have iPads for student use, and 3rd through 5th grade classrooms have a mix of iPads and laptops for student use. All teachers have a desktop computer, document camera, and ceiling hung projector for instructional use. BMSA also has a GoPro Camera, 3D Printer, drone, and Technology Lab available for teacher and student access. Students have opportunities to participate in coding through Code.org accounts, Puzzlets, Ozobots, Osmo, Dash & Dot, WeDo 2, and Raspberry Pi sets. Technology is integrated into classroom and STEM lessons in meaningful and purposeful ways that encourages students to think critically, collaborate, and demonstrate their learning in a creative way.
Barbara Morgan STEM Academy has invested in STEM equipment to provide students with experiences to support STEM learning. This equipment includes:
- Over 310 Apple iPads school-wide
- Computer Lab equipped with 32 desktop computers
- Tech Lab equipped with 32 desktop/laptop computers, Green Screen wall, Go Pro Camera, video conferencing system, Smart Board, camera tripods, recording microphones, and two video projection screens.
- 3 Lego MindStorm EV3 robotics sets
- 1 Lego WeDo Robtotic set
- 3 Raspberry Pi sets
- 5 Project Lead the Way kits
- One 3D Printer
- 6 sets of Programmable Dash and Dot robots
- Littlebits Circuitry sets
- 12 Snap Circuits sets
- Early Coding Activities using sets of Ozobots, Osmo, and Puzzlets
Technology Resources at Barbara Morgan STEM Academy
Digital STEM Notebooks
Examples of technology integration projects in our STEM curriculum can be found in every grade level through digital STEM notebooks made in the app Book Creator. Students collect image and video evidence of experiments, and document the process of their learning. Visual and written information is combined to create a digital book that represents the questioning, investigating, and sharing of their learning. Kindergarten students create digital books to find examples of shapes and seasons in their world. First grade students create books that document objects that make different sounds, and then record the sounds they make. Second grade students investigate sports equipment for Paralympic winter sports, and then create persuasive presentations to send to Olympic committee members to add a new sport to the Paralympic Winter Games. Third grade students create presentations that can serve as a public awareness tool. They research different types of severe weather, and students outline several items and steps that could be taken to be prepared. Fourth grade students use apps to measure the decibels of different sounds. They also create digital presentations to showcase their research on volcanoes. Fifth grade students investigate and engineer windmills. They collect their research, document their learning, and create a presentation using Book Creator and other digital tools.
Technology Tools in STEM Lab
BMSA students also use many technology tools in their STEM class which they attend every 4 days. An example of tools used in STEM lab would be K’nex, Erector Sets, and Vex robots to engineer simple machines. Students are exposed to a variety of technology tools through individual and group investigation, as well as with many of our guest speakers. Our 4th Grade students explored protozoa using microscopes with Dr. Centani from Boise State University.
STEM Lab Technology Inventory
Our school also has an active Technology Club. Technology Club is for 4th and 5th grade students. They must apply and must be accepted in order to join the club. Applications mimic a job application, and students are taught many professional job skills such as communication, collaboration, work completion, reliability, honesty, responsibility, and personal growth. Students assist in maintaining all of the technology equipment in the school. They fill copiers and printers with paper, maintain devices in individual classrooms, assist with updates and maintenance, and respond to Help-Desk tickets submitted by classroom teachers. They also train and test on various technology skills. They run all technology for school assemblies, and assist the Video News Team with production. They can become certified in many different apps, and receive certification and a badge, which allows them to train teachers and other students on that program or app.
BMSA also has an extensive Coder’s Club. More than 85 students participate each year in the afterschool club which facilitates students learning more about computer programming. All students work through courses on Code.org. Kindergarten and 1st grade students are mentored by many parent volunteers and industry experts. They are also exposed to entry level robotics through Ozobots. 2nd grade students also work on code.org, and are introduced to robotics and programming through Puzzlets, Osmo Coding, Dash & Dot, Sphero, and WeDo 2. 3rd through 5th grade students also work on code.org and participate in small breakout groups for EV3, Raspberry Pi, HTML and CSS, and Makey Makey.