Tuesday, August 15, 2017

YCCOSP Stem Academy

While working with the YCCOSP Program (See my first Blog on my summer work) I have been given a lot of autonomy to create learning activities for my students.  This past Spring we had a chance to help design and implement a Saturday STEM Academy.  For four Saturdays, students were immersed in activities in Chemistry, Biology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Professors from York College of Pennsylvania created meaningful learning experiences for the YCCOSP students in the STEM field.  Since our school has discontinued all courses in computer science our students are never given the chance to experiment with coding or different computer programs.

While researching for a graduate course I found several articles on Edutopia about using Scratch coding from MIT to teach coding and mathematics.  Scratch is a basic system and teaches students coding using building blocks on the online coding program.  Several of the students had been through my Geometry class and had learned about the use and concept of Fractals.  Since our students have never been exposed to any type of coding programs I decided they needed to gradually be given steps to learn how to use the Scratch programming and scaffolded their learning activity with three different tiers of difficulty.

The first assignment took students through the basics of scratch code and taught them how to make the online icon do the simplest of moves to create a given polygon.  (Easy Scratch Coding Edutopia Blog)  The second assignment was then the intermediate level of coding which had students create a code to have the icon make a  random polygon and then name it based on the parameters given.  (Intermediate Scratch Edutopia Blog)  Finally students took the program to create the Sierpinski Triangle, a fractal program that made a recursive pattern within itself.  (Advanced Scratch Edutopia Blog).  From each of the blogs I found I created instructions and questions for the students to complete each level of difficulty in coding with the Scratch program.

Students were then tasked to share their code to their college Google+ account.  In the YCCOSP Math STEM Community that I created, students explained what they created and shared it with the world.  This allowed for another deeper conversation about the way one needs to convey themselves online and in social media.  I informed students that the sharing of their code and what their creations did, since it was put online they also had to understand that their words would be able to be seen by others in the social media.  This simple step created the sense that they as digital citizens must be precise in their wording and represent their own selves in a positive academic manner.

The Saturday morning was filled with a lot of fun and students were very involved in the program. Students who had never seen code in their academic career were exposed to a new programming method that can help teach students.  Students were very successful in coding their projects and even commented that they enjoyed learning and "playing around" with the website.  The program ran very well and in the future I hope I can create as meaningful of a set of projects as I have here.  You can get all of my documents used in my TpT store for free! Coding Projects for STEM Mathematics

No comments:

Post a Comment