Thursday, January 28, 2016

5th and 3rd use Google cardboard

STEAM month continues with a visit from Mr. Hay with Google!  He showed the students how to use Google cardboard to view 360 photos and videos.  Think Virtual Reality in a cardboard box!  He then taught the students how to make their own project.  The students were set loose with borrowed phones to take the 360 panoramic photos. They then converted them into the right format for the cardboard.  Then they were able to enjoy their own creations as well as ones others have made.  Mr. Hay emphasized the importance of being a Producer when it comes to technology and not just consuming the technology that others have made.  Each student brainstormed ways they could use this technology to explore the world or help others.  It was truly empowering to watch them transform from just thinking it was cool to understanding what they could do to make it even better.  Thank you so much to Google and Mr. Hay for bringing this experience to our Little Longhorns.  They won't soon forget!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Austin Energy teaches Little Longhorns about electricity!

Mrs. Tate with Austin Energy came to our school to teach the students about electricity.  She taught them about positive and negative charges, how electricity is made, how electrons travel, and safety tips about using it.  Then she let the students demonstrate their learning with a hands-on (literally!) show of how static electricity works.  It was a hair raising experience!  The students learned a lot and had a blast.  We are so thankful for this wonderful partnership between the city of Austin and our school.  Thank you so much, Mrs. Tate!

Friday, January 15, 2016

5th grade and AWIT

We were lucky enough to be able to collaborate with Advocating for Women in Technology which is part of the Association for Information Science and Technology.  Read more about this group here.  They provided old MacBooks, tech tools, and the best part...UT students who could teach our 5th graders how these computers work.  Our Little Longhorns opened up the laptops to discover all the parts inside that make them work.  They learned where the speakers, fans, batteries, RAM, ambient light sensors, heat sink, wires, and many other things live inside a computer.  You can ask them about their experiences.  They also met great role models who guided their discovery and showed them that they, too, could pursue a degree in Information Science.  As they took apart their computers, they organized their screws so that they could put the computers back together as well.  Some commented that the collection of screws looked like a city from our city planning unit with the architects.  Incorporating their social studies unit, the students named the shortest screws "Hoovervilles".  It's really fun to watch them make these cross-curriculum parallels.  
Thank you so much to AWIT for taking the time to come and work with our Little Longhorns!