Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fifth Grade Creates IO Machines

 Friday, May 4th, was not only International Star Wars Day, it was also Forest Creek's annual Science Day!  Students were able to bring out their inner scientist and explore in many different stations.  Students were able to create IO Machines (Input Output Machines) in the computer lab.  The website encourages students to "brush up on your geometry, dust off your protractor, and architect a machine only you could have dreamt of."  When visiting the website, students are confronted with a blank area on top of a grid.  With only three buttons (toolbox, play, and new machine) and no instructions, students were able to figure out how to get a ball from one side of the screen to the other side.  The teachers joined in on the fun and the students were thrilled to see how much longer it took the teachers to figure it out. The students had a great time building their machines.  The website is linked here.  Please note that a Google account is required to play.

Fifth Grade creates Brain Pop Videos

Students love watching Brain Pop videos, an educational resource to which Forest Creek subscribes. One of the main characters in the videos is Moby, a large orange robot who only beeps.  This year, fifth grade students created their own Brain Pop videos.  The students researched a famous historical figure, wrote a script, and filmed using flip cameras.  The students used Audacity to record their voice-over audio that was inserted over pictures and videos.  Using Movie Maker, the students combined their video, pictures, and audio.  Finally, the students uploaded their completed videos into Moodle.  This entire process took several months and the students worked very hard on their movies.  They quickly learned that the movie making process includes many steps, a lot of effort, and an incredible amount of technology understanding! Way to go fifth grade!

Fourth Grade Practices Surgery---in the lab!

Forest Creek elementary celebrated Science Day on Friday, May 4th this year. Students were able to go to many different rotations, including an archeology dig and a first aid session where students were able to hear a "patient's" breathing.  The fourth grade students were able to complete several virtual surgeries in the computer lab.  Students were able to choose from hip replacements, knee replacements, and deep brain stimulation to help with Parkinsons disease symptoms.

The students acted as doctors and surgeons in the virtual reality setting. They had to monitor patient vital signs and decide if they were healthy enough for surgery.  They were able to see what steps surgeons go through in order to prep for and then complete the surgery.  The most common comments made during the rotations were "Oh gross! That is so cool!" in one breath.  We are so glad that our students were able to participate in this virtual simulation and experience what surgeons do.