Written by: Marcus Cook – Upper Yarra Secondary College
When we returned to onsite learning, our Year 9 students were presented with new learning experiences in their Science classes. Students were asked to apply their knowledge of electric circuits, studied during Remote Learning, to some hands-on design and problem-solving tasks. UYSC was lucky enough to be a pilot school for a new outreach program offered by the Yarra Ranges Tech School. Through this partnership, we had access to “littleBits”, snap-together electronic bits that enable kids to create with technology. During class, students joined in a number of sessions, led by staff from Yarra Ranges Tech School (YRTS) via video link, learning about the different components of the littleBits systems and how these connect together to produce desired effects.
Students were then invited to follow the design process to develop a prototype of a device that will assist a hospital patient in some way. The device designed by students had to use the different sensors that are part of the littleBits sets to make it functional. In small groups, students brainstormed, planned, designed and built a prototype of their invention. The final step was to pitch their idea to the rest of the class.
Students enjoyed both the new way this program was delivered, as well as experimenting with the littleBits to provide a solution to their design brief. It is definitely great to be back in the classroom to see the excitement and enthusiasm with which our Year 9s have been responding to these learning activities!
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