Arts & Bots project from the Harless CREATE Satellite's 2012 annual showcase:
March 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM
HUNTINGTON -- Most daycares have snack time, nap time and all sorts of games, but the Marshall University Early Education STEM Center has all of that, along with robots and voice activated technology that its Pre-K students are not only playing with but are helping build almost on their own.
That technology and those students were on full display during a family night event Thursday at the STEM Center in Corbly Hall on Marshall University's Campus.
Specifically, students were eager to engage in activities that made their way to Marshall's campus thanks to a partnership with the Create Lab at Carnegie Mellon, which includes three main projects called GigaPan, Hear ME and Message from Me, said Tarabeth Brumfield, the director of the Early Education STEM Center.
"All of these activities have so many ways to engage these kids in using technology," Brumfield said. "These are kids who have had technology be a part of their lives from the start, and they aren't scared or intimidated by any of it."
Brumfield was especially excited for the Message from Me Center, which allows the students to wirelessly upload photos by themselves, create a message to go with it and send the photo and message via text or email to someone from a list of people including their STEM teachers, their classmates and their parents.
The Message for Me machine is one of thirty in existence, Brumfield said.
"It's a neat way for them to engage their school life into their home life," she said. "It's a fun way to share what they're doing with their parents while they're learning."
Parker Adkins, a 4-year-old STEM student, operated the Message for Me machine like a pro, and his parents, Nisa and Shawn Adkins, said they've seen so many changes since their son began attending daycare at the STEM center.
"We wanted to send him to a place where we knew he wouldn't fall through the cracks, where he could get one-on-one attention, and he's gotten that here," Nisa Adkins said. "He's opened up so much, and there's so much difference in the way he deals with problems and works through things. The whole thing is just great."
For more information, visit www.marshall.edu/stemc.
in a guest post by Prof. Illah Nourbakhsh
"Six counties are preparing to take on WaterBot on a larger scale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, epicenters of the Marcellus Shale drilling controversy. As schools and citizen groups take this on, adopting local waterways, measuring them and sharing the data using Fusion Tables, we believe citizens’ abilities to directly impact policy will be greatly amplified, armed as they will be with real data that is easy to visualize and communicate in powerful ways." read the full post
The Marshall University Early Education STEM Center is one of the Professional Development Schools piloting the Arts and Bots project. The project, originally started for middle school girls, has expanded to include both genders as well as other ages. This is the first time the project has been used in elementary grades as well as pre-k. Many thanks to graduate assistant Lee-Dorah Wokpara for taking on this task and being creative and flexible with the curriculum. Children were encouraged to make a plan and draw a design before creating their robot. We can't wait to see what the children come up with!
Teachers from Huntington High School, Ceredo Elementary, South Point High School and the MU Early Education STEM Center took part in a 2-day training on arts and bots on February 17th and 18th on Marshall'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 engineering, physics, chemistry, science and math. Jenn Cross from CMU's CREATE Lab was on hand to help train the teachers on equipment use while the Harless CREATE Satellite team assisted with curriculum. The project will expand to include additional schools and teachers in the fall and a summer training is planned. We look forward to seeing what the teachers and students come up with!
Teachers at Huntington High School are combining GigaPan technology with West Virginia history to engage students and help them understand the unique culture that surrounds them.
Coal and coal mining in West Virginia has had perhaps the biggest impact on shaping the history and now the future of our state. Coal is found in 53 of its 55 counties with 43 of them having minable reserves. Even though coal has played such an important role in developing WV and the future of our state depends on its use as an alternative fuel, few WV students know much about it. School teachers from Cabell County are embarking on a unique project this summer to develop the skills necessary to bring place-based curricula dealing with WV coal to their own classes. These teachers traveled throughout West Virginia utilizing GPS, scientific probeware, blogs, still/video cameras, and a host of software to develop a "virtual Tour" to many of the mining sites, both past and present, that have helped shape our WV history. Cabell county teachers learned about deep coal mining, surface mining, stream run-off, and the history of coal mining in general during their trip.
Below is a video created by Josh Ratliff showing how GigaPan was used to document historical sites in West Virginia history.
Marshall University's June Harless Center trained a group from University College to capture GigaPan images for the freshman convocation that took place on August 18th. Numbers on Convocation are not final however, turnout was estimated comparable to last year with 1800-1850 freshman students attending Convocation.( Please note, this is not the entire freshman class.)
In addition, Dr. Harold Blanco of the College of Education introduced new Marshall faculty to GigaPan technology and how to integrate it into their curriculum. Departments included theatre, social work, math, education and pharmacy to name a few.
Check out the movie trailer we made for our project year in review! We will be presenting a BYOL (bring your own laptop) and poster session at this year's ISTE conference.