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October 17
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
Peter LaBeck


Sulpher SpringsStudents from across the Sulphur Springs School District will infiltrate Mitchell Community School on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 to participate in the 2nd Annual S.T.E.A.M. Expo.

Over 150 students shared projects in the realm of computer programming, robotics, and next generation science project based learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Our first grade coding classes were exhibiting their Bee Bot robots as well as their work in Scratch Jr. Bee Bots are bee shaped robots that students program with a series of buttons on the Bee Bot’s back.

The goal is to use coding to direct the robot to a specific point on the map. The process of coding provides these students a wonderful opportunity to practice their critical thinking, problem solving, and sequencing skills. Scratch Jr. is an iPad app that uses a simple “linking block” format to teach students how to write lines of code. These 1st grade students amazed the crowd with their ability to think multiple steps ahead to assure they correctly coded the desired final outcome.

Our Bee Bot students from last year now being 2nd graders started Dash and Dot Coding Club. Dash & Dot is a connected learning system that works with a pair of real-world robots named Dash and Dot. Using the two robots and a handful of Android and iOS apps such as Blockly, kids learned the fundamentals of programming, problem solving skills, and much more.

In a second grade classroom, Mrs. Vargas at Sulphur Springs Community School piloted Google CS First – a Passport to Computer Science. The passport is a key to something special: a creative, fun, interactive way to learn computer science. Google CS First teaches students computer science skills while they build cool, functional projects they can show off to their friends and even add their own. While CS First club Members build, create, and play, they learn important skills that will help open future educational and career opportunities, as they gain the confidence in technology they will need to take advantage of them.

A large portion of the STEAM Expo was dedicated to our 5th Grade Coding Club. These students utilized the coding program Scratch to design either a video game or digital animation. Scratch was developed by M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) with the purpose of teaching students to code. Over 120 students participated in the district’s 5th Grade Coding Club and their projects were not only impressive but also fun to play! The most amazing aspect of the 5th Grade Coding Club is the shared learning-taking place.

A new club to our district this year was our sixth grade Robotics club. New this year was our brand new sixth grade Robotics class. LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 has arrived in the Sulphur Spring Union School District. Combining the versatility of the LEGO building system with the most advanced technology that LEGO has ever developed, students were able to unleash the creative powers of the new LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3.

They set to create and command robots that walk, talk, think and do anything you can imagine. The students followed the step-by-step 3D building instructions to create and bring them to life with an easy, intuitive and icon-based programming interface. The students had an app that allowed their robots to take on challenging ready-made missions and allowed them to command their robot using an ipad. The LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robot revolution has begun.

Our fifth and sixth grade split classes and sixth grade students across the district were on hand to share their Next Generation Science Standards S.T.E.A.M. projects. These students have been using the Project Based Learning format to solve an overarching problem through the use of the S.T.E.A.M. disciplines. Projects presented included digital documentaries of human cells, models of thermo-insulated houses, and model cities designed to capture and divert pollution away from rivers. Students were excited to share their projects with the crowd on hand and did an amazing job in their presentations.

This year we were joined by both of our feeder junior high schools, La Mesa and Sierra Vista as well as COC who we have developed a wonderful partnership of professional development in the area of NGSS.

 

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