Summer Learning Part 3: Circuit Design

The last hour of a 4 hour summer school day was Circuit Design.  I knew I needed to make this class fun, educational, and challenging to win my students attention.  I had again, acquired several STEM materials from our generous PTO.  I had Snap Circuits, LittleBits, and Makey Makey kits to use in the next three weeks.  It only seemed natural to dedicate a week to each kit.  Below you can see the break down of what I did each day…

Day 1-2 Discuss Electricity

Day 3-5
  • Students work in groups to explore Snap Circuits
    • Start with no directions (used mini kits)
    • Give student guide with experiments to choose from
Day 6
  • Students work in partners to explore LittleBits
    • Start with no directions – let students discover how things work
    • Give task cards to use
Day 7-8
  • Partners develop idea
    • Brainstorm ideas of something to make that will solve an everyday problem
    • Draw a model of idea
    • Make a list of materials needed
Day 9-10
  • Use LittleBits to create a prototype of idea
Day 11
  • Share prototype
  • Make positive comments on paper
Day 12-13
  • Play around with Makey Makey
Day 14-15
  • Play Breakout Edu

As you can see, I started off the three weeks discussing and discovering what electricity is and how it works.  My favorite part of the three weeks was the week we used LittleBits.  I gave partners the challenge to design a prototype of something that would solve a problem thy encounter.  With limited supplies and LittleBits, the students amazed me…

One student made a night light/fan for her little brother, other partnerships created a mosquito repellent hat, a disco light, and a bubble maker.  When students shared their prototypes, the audience wrote positive notes on post-its for each other to read.

The last two days I tried out something new and well,  SUPER exciting :))  I recently received the Breakout EDU  kits for our school and could NOT wait until the Fall to try it out with students.  So, I gave it a try with my Circuit Design class and WE ALL LOVED IT!!!

Breakout EDU is  a game where students need to work together to solve clues in order to unlock locks.  When all locks are unlocked within a certain time, the box can be opened and you win!  Games are based on all types of curricular areas and teachers and students can even create their own games using the template provided by the company.  If you have never heard of Breakout EDU or have but wasn’t sure if you should get it, I highly recommend that you do purchase it for your classroom/school.

The beginning of this summer was filled with learning not only for my students, but for me as well.  I am now filling my days reading the Launch Book by AJ Juliani and John Spencer, preparing for two presentations on Flexible Learning Spaces and the Shark Tank project I did with my class this year.  I am also finding the time to relax, spend time with my family and friends, and reflect on changes for the upcoming year.

How are you spending your final days of summer?

Now that…is Positively Techie !

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