USING TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING
Bright Sparks is an extension program that offers short courses for students in Grades 2-6. The purpose of this program is to use technology to engage and enrich student learning.
Junior School: WeDo
Grade Two students build and code Lego WeDo in the Bright Sparks Programme.
Students explore using robots in remote locations that humans are not able to reach, or are not safe for humans to go to. Their robots use distance monitors to 'find' what they are looking for, and they investigate how their code changes what the robot does.
Students work in pairs, so teamwork, sharing and communication are an essential part of the programme. All tests are recorded on iPads using Keynote, which involves uploading photos, videos and entering data into data tables.
In Term Four Junior School students who are interested in coding can enrol into a Code.org course.
Middle School: Exploring Gravity
Middle School students have the opportunity to explore different forces (gravity, wind power, potential energy (using a rubber band)) using K'nex construction pieces to build a car and a catapult. All tests are recorded on iPads using Keynote, which involves uploading photos, videos and entering data into data tables.
Students test the distance their car travels by:
Gravity and make modifications to try and make their car travel further.
Potential energy by making a 'rubber band engine' and modifying it so it will travel further. In this course they are also able to build a catapult using a rubber-band for the potential energy.
Wind power - they attach sails to their car and use a fan to make the car move. They modify their design to maximise distance.
Senior School: Training a Robot
Senior School students use Lego Mindstorms kits to build robots and code them to perform various tasks:
student designed obstacle course
pick up objects and place them down in a different location
use a spinner to knock objects out of the way
The course requires a lot of attention to detail and problem solving. Students needs to work efficiently to build their robot and then code it using the Mindstorms app on an iPad. Students record their build and the challenges their robot does using an iPad.
Senior School: 3D Printing
Senior School students have the opportunity to learn how to build designs in 3D using Tinkercad, and print them on the school's 3D printer. Students design and print a castle with turrets, a Christmas bauble, and a name tag
There are four - five sessions in each course and each session runs for one to one and a half hours.