Abstract: The goal of the Liberty SMART Challenge is to foster an interest in science and technology. In the next ten years there is an anticipated shortage of 1 million computer programmers in the United States. The goal of our project is to introduce students to computer sciences and robotic technology through our technology wheel classes. The lessons can also be accessed through our web based "flipped Classroom." Students will learn basic computer programming skills by utilizing SCRACH software. Scratch was developed by the Massachusetts's Institute of Technology to encourage students to pursue careers in computer sciences. Students will be given a chance to demonstrate their construction and programming skills in a physical, hands-on environment through the use of Lego Mindstorms Robots. Building and programming the robots involves teamwork and develops problem solving and math skills. Additionally the robots will be incorporated into our science classes where students will experiment with the robots ability to sense colors, light, temperature, sound and motion as well as the data logging features and the ability to be controlled and monitored through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. Our school will be holding a monthly challenge day where classes compete against each other to complete a STEM challenge. The student's mission is to program their robot to complete an assigned mission. The class that completes the mission with the highest score wins the challenge. The competition will be televised so that all of the classes can view the missions from their classrooms. Our semester long technology wheel classes will introduce approximately 800 students to robotics and computer programming each year and our goal is to incorporate the Lego system into all of our science class as well.
1) Our project moves the classroom from traditional textbook based lessons to team oriented, hands-on, problem-solving missions similar to those found in a professional engineering environment. Results are measurable. Students can see whether their calculations worked in a real world scenario and if not what needs to be changed to make their mission a success. 2) Math, Science, Reading and writing are skills that are essential in technical fields. These are just a few of the current standards that apply to my curriculum. Programming a robot to function in a 3D environment requires extensive use of geometry. The students will need to master skills using radius, diameter and circumference. These skills are covered in the following Florida State Common Core Standard: Number: MACC.7.G.1 Title: Draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them. Type: Standard Subject: CCSS: Mathematics Grade: 7 Body of Knowledge: Geometry Date Adopted/Revised: 12/10 Assess how technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information. Subject Area: NGSSS: Science Grade: 8 Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science SC.8.E.5.10 Number: VA.68.F.3 Title: The 21st-century skills necessary for success as citizens, workers, and leaders in a global economy are embedded in the study of the arts. Type: Standard Subject: NGSSS: Visual Art Grade: 68 Body of Knowledge: Innovation, Technology, and the Future Date Adopted/Revised: 12/10 Number: LACC.68.RST.1 Title: Key Ideas and Details Type: Standard Subject: CCSS: English Language Arts Grade: 68 Body of Knowledge: Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12 Date Adopted/Revised: 12/10 Subject Area: CCSS: English Language Arts Grade: 68 Strand: Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects Cluster: Text Types and Purposes - Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10 Context Complexity: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning - More Information Date of Last Rating: 07/12 Status: State Board Approved Number: US.PK12.CM.4 Title: Communication Systems Type: Standard Subject: NGSSS: Unique Skills (final pending SBE approval - 2013) Grade: PK12 Body of Knowledge: Communication 3) This project will allow us to move from traditional textbook based teaching methods to team based, problem solving lessons. The school will benefit from a web-based, 21st century curriculum that offers the skills necessary to compete in a technology based workforce. Our county economy has traditionally been an agricultural and tourism based economy offering low paying, service industry employment opportunities. With the opening of the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition in Ocala and our close proximity to the University of Florida in Gainesville as well as the recent opening of a video game design company our brightest students will no longer have to leave Marion County to pursue employment opportunities in technical fields. 4) The program makes extensive use of computers to learn basic programming skills. The lessons are web-accessible as part of our flipped classroom curriculum and the use of MIT's SCRATCH software. The Lego robots require robot construction skills and programming skills. The Liberty Challenge days will involve the broadcasting of the challenge to the entire school through our Digital Video Production class. 5) The students will participate in a pre and post test to evaluate learning gains but more importantly we hope to monitor the number of students that choose to continue their education at the our county Engineering & Manufacturing Institute of Technology (EMIT) high school. 6) Student teams will participate in Robot Challenges through FLL (First Lego League). This year's challenge highlights natural disasters. Students will research natural disasters and develop a presentation demonstrating methods to prepare for and respond to the effects of a natural disaster. We will include the project results in our school's promotional video, monthly newsletter, as well as on our school website and through the Marion County Public School's Public Relations Department. We will sponsor a technology "community open house" to showcase our program. Our Video Production class will document the project as a submission in the Marion County Student Media Festival. Our eventual goal is to gather enough support to open a technology magnet program at our school.