Level Up Village is a way of connecting across oceans, across continents, across languages and, most importantly, across hearts. Once learning about this program, it became clear that we, as a school, wanted to become a part of it! Inquiry, engineering design, collaboration, communication, and empathy are all core components of our school and this program brought them to the forefront and tested our students in new and interesting ways.
While many schools now have a 3D printer in the building, teachers often tell us it isn’t utilized nearly as much as they’d like. For those of you who have a 3D printer that has turned into an expensive doorstop, here are seven ways you can get students using it again to design something that is both creative and useful.
Guest post by Caroline Chamberlain at Delbarton School
Today’s classes were very excited to see they had videos from their global partners waiting for them. One young man announced, “I am so cool!” The classes are starting to get the hang of using SketchUp to create items in 3D. But as amazing as that is, they are all much more interested in their video mail!
Are you looking for a way to jazz up the STEAM (STEM + arts) programming at your school? Try combining hands-on STEAM with authentic global learning. Level Up Village partners U.S. students one-on-one with peers in the developing world for meaningful cultural exchange and collaboration on STEAM projects. Students communicate with their global partners each class period via video message exchange to share their findings, learn about each other’s lives and collaborate on real-life applications of their learning.
“What IS this?” exclaimed Grace. Her eyes widened behind her goggles at she leaned closer to her snake specimen to get a better look. In the middle of the dissection, she had discovered what seemed to be several more little snakes, all coiled up in the abdomen. The other girls clustered around to see.
“First we thought the snake had possibly eaten another snake, but we kept looking and found more and more,” said Jennifer Beck, a teacher at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. “We weren’t expecting a pregnant one, so we had to do a lot of Internet research, and we learned not all snakes lay eggs. Some carry their young.”
The girls were participating in Level Up Village’s Global Doctors – Anatomy as part of “DASH into Summer,” a summer enrichment program run by Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.
At Delbarton, an all-boys Benedictine School in Morristown, New Jersey, we have been looking for global connections, but struggled with the logistics involved in this kind of collaboration. We decided to pair our 8th grade science students with an all-girl’s school, and see what happens. So far, the results have been amazing.
Our 8th graders sent video introductions to an all-girls school in Uganda yesterday. Let us just let the reality of that settle in for a moment.
Children at Asociacion CREAR in one of the poorest areas of rural Costa Rica recently teamed up with students at a summer program in Houston, Texas, for two hands-on STEAM (STEM + arts) courses. Together, they took Global Minecraft Builders and Pied Piper Engineering with Level Up Village, a provider of global STEAM enrichment to more than 50 U.S. schools in 12 states and over 30 Global Partner organizations in 19 countries.
During each class period, the children exchanged video messages about the project they were working on with their individual partners in the other country. Though they had never collaborated globally before, the kids quickly embraced it.
Looking to inspire kids to fully engage in their learning this coming school year? Experts say that children need to tackle real-world problems and come up with creative solutions. One great way to foster this type of authentic learning is through hands-on STEM activities. Check out these resources for some ideas:
Last spring, when students from The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine in New York City took Level Up Village’s Global Minecraft Builders course, they were paired with partner students at iEARN Pakistan in Karachi, and the result was extraordinary one-to-one global collaboration.
“They built a transportation system at Pakistan’s suggestion, a hospital that Cathedral organized, and even a collaborative flower garden, which required both classes to recall their point plotting skills from an earlier class.”
In her keynote address to the National Coalition of Girls Schools Conference (NCGS) this week in Richmond, Virginia, Reshma Suajani, founder of Girls Who Code, expressed her frustration at walking into robotics classes and seeing scores of boys and maybe one or two girls.
I get it. I have found myself frustrated by exactly the same thing, and that is one of the reasons why we work so hard to bring girls to the table through our global STEAM courses that give students the opportunity to collaborate globally on real-life issues.