Technology is an integral part of our world. Students need to know how to use technology to inquire, research and create. They are fortunate to have access to a lab with computers, 3D printers, microprocessors, and robots. Coding, the process of creating programming code for the computer to execute, is the basis for all electronics. Coding develops critical thinking and problem solving skills and is taught at varying levels to all grades. Early grades drag and drop lines of code to solve puzzles, while middle school students write/edit programs on microprocessors such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino. Students code with several programming languages including HTML, C++, and Python. Using HTML, students learn to create and build their own website. Seventh graders will be creating an informational website with events, sports and other happening for Ascension students.
Students create using 3D design software and learn the basics of 3D printing. Students brainstorm ideas and decide on projects which have ranged from creating airplanes and mazes, up to replicating the floorplan of the school. Eighth graders work as a team to develop a product that they will design and print, and develop a sales and marketing strategy to generate funds for their class trip.
Students also create in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) using Cospaces. They can then view their creations using Merge Cubes or VR goggles. The use of VR goggles is also incorporated in other classrooms to enhance learning by allowing students to explore the world.
Ascension has an array of robots including Sphero, Dash, Cue, and Legos. These robots are used as a tool to help students visualize the code they have written. In the robotics club, students are challenged to utilize the skills they learned in technology class to build and code robots. Students will then use the robots to participate in VEX and LEGO competitions.
Real world applications such as maintaining a checkbook and managing a stock portfolio are used to teach spreadsheets. In collaboration with other teachers, students research topics and use presentation software is used to show learning.