This Summer, New Canaan Country School was a hub of activity with students in K-8 engaged in variety of hands-on projects that combined technology skills with global awareness. The school’s summer enrichment program included opportunities for students to code video games, create animations and build websites – all in collaboration with students from across the globe as part of the school’s ongoing partnership with Level Up Village.
“Students are first drawn to the STEAM curriculum with cool and engaging classes in web design, video games, coding and more,” said Kathy Kravec, director of the school’s Plus Program. “The added value of establishing relationships all across the globe with students in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and India opens up a whole world of meaningful dialogue, furthering our school mission to ‘teach personal, social, and environmental responsibility and to create a community that honors diversity and our common humanity.’”
Global Video Game Designers taught students to create their own interactive video games in collaboration with global partners from Kenya and Uganda. In Global Web Designers, students worked with partners in India to design and create a website that proposed possible solutions to global climate change.
What kinds of things did students learn about each other? Here’s what one student said about his partner in Mumbai, who takes Level Up Village courses through Masoom, an organization that provides education enrichment, hot meals and more, to children who sell vegetables or make shoes during the day.
“His name is Rahul and he’s 14. He works in the days, and then he goes to school at night. It’s pretty crazy how he does that,” said eighth grader James in an article in New Canaan News. “ We talked about if he were visiting America, where I would take him? I said probably New York City. He said he’d take me to the Elephanta Caves.
NCCS also runs Level Up Village courses during the school year as part of its after school program. After participating in Global Inventors, Level Up Village’s 3D printing course, fourth grader Jack worked with a partner in Ghana to create animations and code games, while learning logic, coding and presentation skills in Global Video Game Designers.
“The video game course was really fun because you got to use this really cool Scratch program to make your own video game. You’d get to talk about your projects and progress. My partner made videos for me to watch, and I could see that he had worked on our project,” said Jack.
Earlier this year, students in K-2 participated in Global Storybook Engineers, using materials such as spaghetti and marshmallows to engineer solutions to rescue story book heroes, while sharing design ideas and discovering what they have in common with their partners in Nicaragua.
“Summer enrichment and afterschool programs provide schools with the opportunity to bring in leading-edge programs that will not only enhance students’ skills, but also provide them with a global perspective,” said Nicki Brill, LUV Account Director, who has taught several LUV courses at NCCS, including Global Web Designers. “We’re proud to be be making the global classroom a reality at NCCS.”