Sunday, November 23, 2014

Design Thinking A Better Way to Play

In Upper School PE kids aren't only playing games, they are making them.  Using the Design Thinking process, Ginny Hofman's PE class took a look at how games get started and why and how they evolve. Students worked alone or in teams to craft their c=games including rules of play and how to teach it.  After playing the game, the students were able to Iterate new possibilities for play. Hofman reports, "It was amazing!  You could see the iteration process unfold as the games were playing - rules changed, as did scoring, and the play of the game itself. Creative play!"


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lower School Young Engineers: Kids Teaching Kids

Upper school students under the direction of science teachers Jamie Anderson and Lisa Martin developed engineering curriculum for lower school students as part of their Kids Teaching Kids initiatives, a special teaching/learning opportunity where GA upper school students partner with kindergarten students to explore science.  For their first activity this year, the students collaborated to make Pocket Flashlights designed to explore basic circuitry.  Next up are kaleidoscopes!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Engineering Students Place in The Widener Mousetrap Competition

 Widener Mousetrap Competition

GA's new Upper school honors class in Engineering participated in the 30th annual Widener Mouse Trap Competition, where hundreds of high school students from throughout the mid-Atlantic region compete to build a mousetrap-powered device. Student teams are provided a design problem, a set of specifications and encouraged to learn and develop their skills of planning, design, and implementation — all while working in a team environment, as do practicing engineers.  Sponsored by Victor -a leader in rodent control solutions - where participants used Victor brand wooden mouse snap traps in order to create mouse trap-powered devices at the event. So how did GA's team do?  We placed 6th out of nearly 100 teams.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Flying Drones in 8th Grade History

Eighth grade student Jack Ruane found an unusual way to connect with his history curriculum - a year long study of major contemporary world events. With topics like ISIS, Russia and the Ukraine, The NSA, Merkel and the European Union, and Drone Technology in the Military, students are encourage to explore individual and authentic ways to engage with the to the material. Jack's interest led him to learn how to work with consumer grade drone technology as a way to understand military usage, reporting,  "Showing how drones work instead of just reading about it helped me to understand the it more."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MS detox Experiment a Success

Middle school faculty and students met over lunch last week to share their reflections and to discuss their experience of #DigiDetoxGA. When 7th grader, Zack Thurlow, was asked the question: How would you summarize the detox in three words? he quickly responded, "Not that hard." Cianni Williams, another 7th grader,  had a different experience, calling it "agonizing" noting social pressure to be on her device. She continued commenting that it was painful to know that she was missing out on what her friends were doing and saying.  A silver lining, though, for Cianni: "At least I got a scarf out of it." She took up knitting during her time away from her phone.

Jarrett Anderson, one of the faculty participating in the detox reports, "The detox allowed us use of technology for reasons related to our jobs as faculty and students of GA, and many discussed the difficulty in finding where those professional obligations start and stop. We also talked about how technology has become such a reflex, that we didn't even notice when we'd starting checking e-mail for personal reasons. Technology's massive presence in our lives, and the power of habits!"

Faculty and students plan on continuing the conversations around the use of devices, mindfulness about habits, and other issues related to our daily use of technology.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lower School Tinker Lab Open for Business

After months of work the Lower School Tinker Lab is open and ready for business!  Students, faculty, and administrators gathered this week for an official opening reception complete with a ribbon cutting and a performance of "Thank you for The Tinker Lab" performed by very excited pre-kindergarten students!