How Children Can Learn

by Gayle Manchin, president of WV Board of Education, following a recent visit to the CREATE Lab: 


I knew that the CREATE Lab was a visionary “think tank” of young brilliant minds--but that does not even scratch the surface of what is “happening” in this arena at Carnegie-Mellon. 

The opportunities given to children to expand their minds, their explorations, their discoveries, and have it all happen as an everyday experience begins to define what education should mean. Young people create, discover, experiment, and solve problems as engaged scientists. This can and is being replicated in WV in remarkable ways. These students will become tomorrow's teams that find the cure for cancer, temper global warming, and change the way they will leave their land better than we left it to them.

Replicated in WV in remarkable ways. CREATE Lab Satellite Network partners in West Virginia.

However, in addition to showing the world how children can learn, the CREATE Lab is also changing our universe. The entrepreneurial spirit that exists in that facility is changing the scope of mankind in what and how individuals can observe, learn and facilitate the integration of new knowledge into our ever-changing, complex world. These young minds enable all of us to know more quickly the challenges that we face as a society and encourages us to be part of the solution in a more effective way.

The visit in and of itself was a overwhelming experience --- but the opportunities that exist are almost incomprehensible in how far the human mind can stretch. I feel so incompetent in trying to express adequately the experience of spending an afternoon in this lab, but suffice it to say, I left there realizing that I had been a part of an amazing vision of teaching and learning at its finest. THANK YOU for sharing with us!!

I hope that our paths will cross in many ways on this journey to educate for the future.

Gayle C. Manchin
President, WV State Board of Education

GigaPan Curriculum Collection - Celebrating 41 Educators

For the past six years, CREATE Lab GigaPan outreach has inspired projects in 20 countries, engaging 1,176 educators, 6,371 students, and 153 leading scientists across the globe. 

Today we are proud to announce the release of a GigaPan curriculum collection including 20 lesson plans, based on projects that were developed and implemented by 41 of our partner educators, featuring a variety of content areas and unique approaches to GigaPan. We're proud to show off their work.

The curriculum collection is available on: gigapan.com/cms/use-learn.
Each unit details the related common core and state standards.

In addition to our gratitude toward our partner educators, we dedicate a very special thank you to Jennifer Geist of  Zeitgeist Creations Global Education Tools, who curated all the unit plans and uniformly formatted them for easy reference and implementation. To complete the collection, Jennifer bundled these units with educator guides for online resources, hardware, activity ideas as well as a project design template.

Photography becomes transformative when the image maker is empowered to capture what is most valuable to them, and even more so when they share this perspective with others. By creating and sharing GigaPan images, educators, students, and scientists can share the stories of their own landscapes and ignite conversations with participating groups all over the world. 


We asked some of the educators featured in this collection to share their perspective about GigaPan. 

Here's what they said:


Elizabeth Lallathin, Kellogg Elementary School, Huntington WV, USA

"Using GigaPan in my classroom has allowed all readers access to inferencing skills and to be part of a greater conversation. Images found on gigapan.com have become a virtual window to the settings of books, lessons, and news. Readers are able to place themselves inside of the picture and see it close up. The images grab the audience and hold the attention begging the onlooker to inquire more deeply with every zoom...GigaPan is a tool that I highly respect and enjoy using within my classroom."

Download Elizabeth's projects: World of Diversity and Travels Through Literature


Hari Prasetyo, SMA Al-Izhar, Jakarta, Indonesia


"GigaPan is an amazing tool. Using GigaPan has taught me and my students many things, such as, partnership, exchanging the ideas, and because we are from Indonesia we practice our English conversation by communicating with our partner school. The gigantic panorama produced by the GigaPan enables us to find/zoom in on unique or strange pictures/phenomenon/scene in our daily activities or cultures. We then can discuss these findings within our class or ask for an explanation from our school partner's students and teacher.  So much cultural diversity or biodiversity that we can understand and learn about." 

Download Hari's project, School Daily Activities, here.


David Williams, Huntington High School, Huntington WV, USA

"What I liked about the GigaPan is that it allowed the students to make discoveries without me telling them and it allowed me to see what interested them. It allowed their peers to help them because they were the only ones online to communicate with. It made the students excited and engaged. I had fully engaged students and by being on the computers students that might not participate in discussions could discuss via the keyboard. This project did a good job hooking my students on learning about the Incas."

Download David's project, Inca & Ancient Civilizations, here


Linda Twedt, South Fayette Middle School, McDonald PA, USA

"The magic of GigaPan is as much in what it can show as in what it can 'erase'. With assistance, we were able to peek inside the contents of a frozen food truck seemingly without the doors. GigaPan excites the students with its Facebook-style interface, allowing them to use their foreign language skills to get to know their partners, who may live many thousands of miles away."

Download Linda's project, Alimentation/Nutrition, here


Briana, student of Brandon Keat, Propel School, Pittsburgh PA, USA

“I must admit Gigapanning for me became a new craving! All I thought about when I walked around was 'this would be a great place to do a GigaPan.' I learned it all – how to set the machine up and how to adjust everything correctly and take awesome pictures. It was an amazing experience and I'm glad I got to be apart of it!"  

Download Briana's classroom's social studies project here


Khosi Ntuli, Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary School, Soweto, South Africa

"I am an educator teaching Life Orientation at Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary in South Africa. Students are faced with challenging dilemmas. Life is all about choices and priorities. My subject aims at equipping them with skills and techniques to face their challenging background. Meeting with other educators made me realize that one way or the other we are all the same. We are faced with the challenge of changing the minds of those kids that God has placed to our care.”

Download Khosi's project, Global Health, here


Becky Severino, Beverly Elementary School, Beverly WV, USA

"The Self-Portrait GigaPan project sprang from a discussion with a preschool teacher about found objects. We decided that we would ask our students to go on a treasure hunt at home and bring to school any small treasures they could find. We used the objects as springboards for creative play. When it seemed that the students had exhausted all possibilities, we introduced the concept of self-portraits. Using the GigaPan site, we visited museums and art galleries to see original self-portraits by famous artists. We used our found treasures to build faces, working without glue so that we could change our work, revisit it, recreate the faces depending on the objects chosen. Finally we created our own self-portraits. We then created puppets from our objects and wrote stories about their lives.

We were so fascinated with that GigaPan that we decided to create our own using the self-portraits of famous artists. We made small thumbnail copies of their works and placed them in various spots around our classroom. We then made larger versions of the same pictures and used those to cover our faces and placed ourselves in the GigaPan.  We were very pleased with the outcome of our work!"

Download Becky's project, Beautiful Stuff: Self Portraits, here


Bonnie Conner, Milton Middle School, Milton WV, USA

"I created the project for a classification unit I do near the end of the year. My students are always amazed at how the GigaPan works. Students enjoy trying to find the organisms and classify them. I even taught a student teacher how to use the GigaPan last year and used it in my digital imaging club with 6, 7, and 8th graders."

Download Bonnie's project, Nine Phyla of the Animal Kingdom, here


Marti Louw, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA, USA

"Gigapixel technology brings a 21st century spin to the natural history diorama. Explorable images not only make accessible the remote, rare and hard to see, the technology enables learners to explore, observe and discover meaning in their own way."

Download Marti's project, Stories in Rock, here


Jason Jackson, Beverly Hills Middle School, Huntington WV, USA

"The projects main focus was to broaden the horizons of children. Many places around the world seem so similar to us here in the US, but the differences in everyday activities, like grocery shopping, can be surprising. During this project we took time to look at local prices for a gallon of milk and compare that mathematically to the price of a gallon of milk in other locations. We started our investigation by asking family and friends who lived in other states what a gallon of milk cost. Then, we explored the GigaPan site and other internet sites for the price of milk per gallon. After locating several outlets, a convenient store in the middle east, a European Sweet Shop, an Asian open market, and grocery stores in the United States, the data comparison assignment started. As a culminating assignment, students had to use the information that we had learned to create a visual representation of how the prices varied among other objects located in our class' original GigaPan. Most students chose a spread sheet which related back to our math basis."

Download Jason's project, Nutrition & Markets, here.


View the full curriculum collection here

See For Yourself - Event Schedule


5/6 Monday            Hands-on GigaPan Training: ages 8+ Registration Required 
5:00-8:00pm           


5/8 Wednesday      Robots! Learning Party 
4:30-7:30pm 


6:30-9:00pm           


5/13 Monday           Circuits and Robots Workshop: Children’s Innovation Project ages 3-7  |  Arts & Bots ages 7+ 
4:00-6:00pm           


5/21 Tuesday           Community GigaPan Projects: presentation by Pitt student-teachers
6:30-8:30pm           

5/22 Wednesday     Kids+Creativity at 2020: Lunch and Learn with Illah Nourbakhsh. SOLD OUT
12:00-1:30pm          


5/28 Tuesday           Hear Me 101 Student Film Screening 
6:30-9:00pm



Arts and Bots Training in Mingo County, West Virginia

The June Harless Center held an Arts and Bots training in Mingo County at Mingo Central High School on November 5, 2012.  Twelve elementary and middle school science and art teachers from Burch Elementary, Gilbert Middle, Matewan Middle, Williamson Middle, Burch Middle and Mingo Central High School took part in the training, which was funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The Arts and Bots project integrates technology, robotics and art through the use of familiar arts and crafts supplies, circuit boards, lights, motors and sensors.  Students design, build and program robots that tell stories of literary and historical characters and events while promoting technological literacy and informal learning.  

Arts and Bots is one of several projects implemented by the Harless CREATE Satellite, a branch of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab at the June Harless Center.  The satellite provides robotics and technology initiatives to West Virginia schools including Marshall University Professional Development Schools.

Due to its success Arts and Bots, originally designed to encourage middle school girls’ interest in STEM topics, was expanded to include both genders and a larger age group.  The Harless CREATE Satellite enables educators and rural communities in West Virginia a real-time portal to the flow of cutting edge technologies and programs being developed at the lab in Pittsburgh.

 

Arts and Bots-Barboursville Middle School Math Class

Doug Force's, math teacher at Barboursville Middle School in Barboursville, West Virginia accepted the challenge to inject robotics into his curriculum first semester of the 2012-2013 school year. His students used everyday household items to make robots. Once their robots were created, their challenge was to find what they did that pertained to mathematics. Other questions asked were as follows :

 

1. How do I make something happen on my robot when I get close to it?

2. How do I make a purple strobe light?

3. How do I make something move on my robot?

4.  What is unique about my robot? 

5.  What have I learned from this experience?

 

Students and their parents brought their robots to teachers' Arts and Bots follow- up meeting this week on Marshall's campus to share them with pre-service and in-service teachers. 

Next semester, Doug will continue to use Arts and Bots with a new group of students and we look forward to seeing more creative robots!

Waterbot Installation-2nd Attempt!

The waterbot pilot team of Rick Sharpe (Huntingtin High School) and Brian McNeal (Cabell Midland High School) went out Sunday October 7th, 2012 and installed 2 waterbots along fourpole creek in Huntington.  Fourpole creek is a large creek that runs through the center of Huntington including through Ritter Park. Rick and Brian will be utilizing the data captured by the waterbot and incorporating it into their science classes where they already teach water quality. The waterbot will be a great addition to their curriculum and plans to install a third in Martinsbug, West Virginia with a local science teacher there are in the works. 

Waterbot Pilot at Marshall University- Summer 2012

A summer waterbot pilot was held with two science teachers from Huntington High School and another teacher from Cabell Midland High School on July 24th, 2012. Pat McKee, Rich Sharpe and Brian McNeal already teach about water quality in their classrooms and will be using waterbot throughout the year to monitor local watersheds in several different areas. A blog has been created to record findings and share results with others (http://cabellwaterbot.blogspot.com/).  Once established, future plans include training additional teachers in multiple areas. 

Harless CREATE Satellite Holds Arts and Bots Training- Summer 2012

Teachers from Ona Elementary, Beverly Elementary, Cornerstone Academy, Kellogg Elementary, and Barboursville Middle took part in a 2-day training on arts and bots on July 10th and 11th on Marshall University's campus.  The 8 teachers agreed to pilot the project and integrate it into existing classroom curriculum and will be using it in a variety of subjects including physics, math, reading and career exploration.  Allen Perry Physics and Chemistry teacher from South Point High School in South Point, Ohio was on hand to help train the teachers on equipment use while the Harless CREATE Satellite team assisted with curriculum. The project has expanded to include additional schools and teachers since the initial training last fall.  We look forward to seeing what the teachers and students come up with this year!



June Harless Center Holds Exploring STEAM Camp- Arts and Bots

The June Harless Center held a weeklong summer camp June 4th -7th, 2012 for children entering 2nd-5th grade on Marshall University's campus.  Allen Perry, a Physics and Chemistry teacher from South Point High School (Ohio), lead the camp with the Harless staff assisting.  Allen participated in the roll out which involved 4 local schools this past school year. Children gained inspiration for their designs from a virtual tour on the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s website and used the engineering design process to create their robots with the goal being to learn how to create and program a robot.

 

ASK:          What do you want your robot to look like?

                   What do you want your robot to be able to do?

 

IMAGINE:   Research

                   Brainstorm ideas

                   Choose the best one!

 

PLAN:        Draw a diagram

                   Make a list of materials you will need

 

CREATE:   Follow your plan and create it!

                   Test it out!

 

IMPROVE:  Talk about what works, what doesn’t, and what could  work better!     

                    Modify your design to make it better

                  Test it out! 


On Thursday, a showcase of the student’s work was held and parents, friends and family were invited to attend.  Some of the robot designs included an alligator, truck, Sacajawea, wooly mammoth, and recycle bots. The children enjoyed the experience and the parents were impressed with the designs that their children made and the creativity that was used