This fall, the Grade 5s have been engaged in an exploration on accessibility, barriers, challenges, and disability. Students have learned about what life might be like to use a wheelchair and using Design Thinking Framework, they designed assistive technologies to make an aspect of York House more accessible. Rory Dougall from BCIT’s REDLab, a rehabilitation engineering design lab, came into work with the girls on their prototypes. The girls shared their prototypes and talked about the process during an expo held on Monday, December 11.
This project started months ago, when Grade 5 teachers, Melissa Kanavos and Erin Reindl, our STEAM Coordinator in the Junior School, Jennifer Sharpe, and Science Teacher, Lela Ling, began to develop a truly cross-curricular unit on accessibility. They designed the unit to incorporate curriculum from Science (simple machines), Language Arts (paragraph writing), and Social Studies (citizenship) as well as create an opportunity to deepen the understanding of our YHS value of empathy.
Read more on this Grade 5 STEAM project here.
In 2013, Code.org launched the “Hour of Code Challenge” on its website to teach computer science to school students, enticing them to complete short programming tutorials. It involved getting people to write short snippets of code. About 20 million people participated and over 600 million lines of code had been written. By October 2014, about forty million students had taken the Hour of Code class, and a second Hour of Code was held in December 2014.
York House participated in the Hour of Code on December 4th. On that day, students in all classes worked on a variety of different coding projects. Scratch Jr., Robot Turtles, Beebot, and re-designing a Google logo on Scratch were just a few of the activities. Coding and computing skills are a critical path to security and prosperity in today’s job market. We really want our girls to be passionate as they learn how to use technology to solve problems in their day-to-day lives and make a positive impact on the world. Learning the basics of coding and participating in the Hour of Code teaches a highly valued skill and is also incredibly fun!
Education Technology Coordinator