Friday, December 9, 2016

Designing Light Systems Challenge by Steve

  I am not sure why I wasn't able to upload it via YouTube, but I suppose that's the way it goes sometimes.  I opted to go with a shorter video.  In fact it is what I will be using to kick off this challenge with my 5th grade students.  Hopefully it gives enough information to at least pique your interest.

To say that this project put me outside of my comfort zone is a bit of an understatement.  I consider myself to be somewhat technology savvy (minus the ability to get YouTube to recognize my account tonight) and I found myself with growing confidence in the area of block coding.  So why, then, would I choose a project that focuses on an arduino, light sensor, and C?  It's because that's what my students need (and Lucie really likes it when people feel uncomfortable).

I work with all 450 students in grades K-6 in my school with a focus on STEM topics.  In first grade we work on an engineering design task to use what they know about light to illuminate 6 different hieroglyphs so that an artist could recreate all the details.  They only have 1 light source and the location of that cannot change.  What I was finding during their pre and post data collection was that the students weren't very accurate (or honest) with what they were seeing.  They needed a more objective and consistent measure.  Enter the light sensor.

While I may try almost anything, I am not about to try having my 1st graders learn C and build the tool to measure light intensity.  I made a plan for one of my 5th grade challenge groups to work through this process.

That is what you will find here.

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