A month ago, many of us transitioned to a virtual school or work model. This may have brought significant changes to our lives, both professionally and personally. My life as an educator changed, but I was able to adapt to continue to offer quality learning experiences to my students. As the Middle School STEAM Coach at Aspen Academy, one of my roles is to teach an Innovation class to students in grades 5 - 8. Below are some tips that you can use, either as a parent or educator, to continue to inspire science, technology, engineering, art and math skills while learning outside of the traditional school building -- as well as a challenge!
Innovation & STEAM
Can you imagine a space where kids are coding as young as four years old? A place where they take an ordinary picture they’ve drawn and use technology to make their picture come alive and talk? A space where they have to work as an engineering team to design a new invention? A place where students are taking their 2-D drawings and making them come to life through a 3-D model? You don’t have to imagine any of it as this type of space is a reality for all Aspen Academy students from Pre-K through 8th grade.
Middle School Innovation Lab
The Media + Design Lab
Over the past week, I've spoken to a number of parents who were feeling anxious about how they would entertain their kids over Spring Break without the online school routine. I was inspired to create this resource for young learners, to support with some screen-free creativity.
As technology becomes integrated more into both the lives of adults and children, we want to provide extra time and resources this month to focus on the healthy use of this technology. Over the next four weeks, students will engage in Cyber Civics activities and discussions in Leadership and Innovation classes. Based on our safety focus this week, here are conversations and activities you can explore with your students.
Almost a decade ago, a young, creative mind was made famous on the internet by a brief film documentary. Caine’s arcade, which debuted in 2012, showcased a boy’s cardboard arcade that he made in his father’s automotive shop. The movement grew after the documentary took off, and it inspired the creation of a non-profit called Imagination.org, “Global Cardboard Challenge” and “A Day of Play.” Here at Aspen Academy, we were also inspired by this movement and decided to join in on the fun! Here is what I have learned from our “cardboard experiences” the past few years
As the holidays approach, we may consider purchasing toys, technology, kits or other fun gadgets for the children in our life. As teachers, we may look to spice up our learning environment after the first three months of school. Some of these items may facilitate learning on a higher level, while others may serve more entertainment purposes. This article explores more on engineering kits, maker space resources, hardware and software, grading each on an "Innovation Scale."