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Lower School Students Stun at ISTE Conference

31 August 2012 admin 4,170 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

By Stefani Baker, Lower School Instructional Assistant

After the last school bell rang, signaling the start of summer, most students went running for vacation, but three Lower School students and two St. Margaret’s teachers were preparing for one last event.

For the first time, after a long application process, St. Margaret’s was selected to present at the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) Conference. On June 25, Instructional Technology Specialist Londa Posvistak and grade 3 teacher Tess Posvistak, along with Espen Garner, Alex Georgiades and Alexis Kieckhafer traveled to San Diego for the student showcase: ICE (Imagine, Create, Engineer): Introducing Robotics into Elementary Learning.

The three Lower School students demonstrated the benefits of robotics in the classroom through the use of Bee Bots, Pico Crickets, LEGO® Space, WeDo’s and Simple Machines. To the 13,000 attendees, St. Margaret’s made an impression with spectators crowding the walkways, peering over the heads of others to get a glimpse of the young engineers and their projects. The inquisitive educators, shocked by the students’ ages, asked questions about their builds, experience, and how they thought other students would enjoy robotics curriculum. While responding to questions the students were also able to make space on the floor to build and program new creations. Espen, grade 4, constructed a soccer goalie with LEGO® WeDo’s and programmed it to defend the net against crumpled paper soccer balls, while Alexis, grade 6, showed off her knowledge of LEGO® Space by building a space hammer, controlled by a hand crank. Alex, grade 3, engineered his own “rover,” which he programmed to walk around the conference with him. This was all in addition to the projects the students had been working on since late February to bring to the conference.


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