Activities and Highlights of K.I.D.S Club and the new STEAM Workshops
Feb 11, 2019 | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech CEISMC fall and winter sessions of K.I.D.S Club and STEAM Workshops provide K-12 students with a wide variety of activities that aim to introduce students to new and fascinating STEM concepts. Spring session online registration is open now.
In previous sessions, kids ranging from 2nd to 5th grade participated in interactive K.I.D.S Club activities while older students ranging from middle school to high school worked diligently in the new STEAM Workshops. Through these educational activities, K-12 students were given the opportunity to experience STEM/ STEAM concepts in a new and entertaining way.
During K.I.D.S Club, groups were divided into 2nd and 3rd-grade classes and 4th and 5th-grade classes which allowed the kids to learn about STEAM on a level that matched their existing knowledge of the subjects. As was replicated in the following sessions, the younger students involved in the K.I.D.S club fall sessions participated in many different activities that provided an introduction to specific aspects of STEM.
The fall activities included scribble bots, Dash and Dot, planet beach balls and craft stick candles, and the winter sessions introduced new activities such as destiny rainbow and code a dance party. The first activity, scribble bots, involved attaching a motor and a collection of colorful markers to a cup and allowed the kids to rearrange the markers in order to make new color patterns on their sheet of paper. After that, the kids moved on to decorating beach balls which provided an interactive explanation of how the planets orbit around the sun.
A particularly exciting activity for the younger students, which continued in the winter sessions, was the Dash and Dot robots. This activity taught the students how to code and control the robots through an app on their devices. Along with coding the robots to play games and solve puzzles, the students were told to pair up and have one partner place Dash while the other placed Dot. Once the robots were in position, the partner with the iPad had to use their new coding skills to send Dash back to Dot.
During this activity, CEISMC’s Katie Guzdial noted that "introducing the Wonderbots (Dash and Dot) to the 2nd and 3rd graders went very well. The students learned how to share by switching who was using the Blockly app on the iPad, and they were very interested in Dash... One student told the Instructors that she was going to tell her parents she wanted Dash and Dot for Christmas."
This introduction to algorithms challenged the 2nd and 3rd graders to think like a computer scientist, and encouraged the kids to get excited about leading Dash to Dot. In addition to the Wonderbots activity, the 4th and 5th graders participated in more advanced activities to build on their current knowledge of STEM. One of the new activities that was introduced in the second fall session, called “diaper magic,” taught the students how polymers are used to create absorbent diapers. From there, the winter sessions introduced chromatography, insect investigation, and an electronics experiment.
3-hour sessions challenged the older kids to apply their prior knowledge of STEAM to more advanced activities like Construct 3, Micro:bits Mania, Biology: it’s in our DNA and LEGO Mindstorms. Through the Construct 3 and Micro:bits Mania workshops, students gained knowledge of coding games, apps, and music while the biology workshop introduced students to the fundamentals of genetics through hands-on experiments.
Through the LEGO Mindstorms workshop, 6th-8th graders learned how to program LEGO Mindstorm EV3 robots which provided the students with an example of real-world challenges.
Spring sessions which will be held Saturday, February 23rd and Saturday, March 9th from 1 - 4 pm. For more information visit: https://ceismc.gatech.edu/studentprograms/kidsclub .
Written by: Shannon L. Malone - CEISMC Communications