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Project Lead the Way Partners Elementary Users and High School Builders 

PLTW North High School Juniors and Seniors in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Computer Science and Software Engineering class teamed up with second grade students at Huntley Elementary to incorporate newly-developed knowledge and skills related to mobile app development.


The PLTW class worked with the Huntley second grade teacher Catherine Zold to determine how they could assist with the learning goals the students would be achieving this fall. They decided as a class to undertake a mobile app project to help the Huntley second graders achieve their math learning goals.


Zold said that the second graders “loved knowing they were the first to test new apps that were created for them by kids they look up to. It was tricky for the second graders to be politely honest yet helpful with their feedback. I think this was a great learning opportunity for both groups of students.”


Chad Behnke, PLTW Computer Science and Software Engineering Instructor, says he decided on pairing these upperclassmen with second grade students because of the short time-frame of the project, the brief exposure all students would have to the MIT App Inventor platform and the relative abundance of potential real-world “clients” (elementary students and teachers) to work with. He continued, “working with an elementary classroom just made sense, second graders are honest, they let you know right away what could be better.”


Huntley Elementary is also in the general enrollment area for North High School, and some of the NHS students still have siblings attending Huntley Elementary (or personally attended Huntley) which provides a meaningful connection.


PLTW Computer Science develops computational thinking, generates excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduces professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Through the PLTW curriculum, students will learn Information Technology skills suited for multiple fields and careers.

Behnke says that the “biggest benefit of adopting many of the activities and content developed by PLTW helps ensure (to some degree) a common exposure of those similar activities and content to students across the District. In general, the activities and content developed by PLTW follow an Activity, Project, Problem-Based Framework and help engage students with relevant and immediately-applicable learning activities.”


The PLTW Computer Science & Software Engineering is also directly aligned with the AP College Board Computer Science Principles Curriculum, so this course has both a College and Career Focus.

Behnke says that the “PLTW classes better prepare students for their future through the “Activity, Project, Problem-Based Approach by helping engage students with relevant and immediately-applicable learning activities.”


After the Thanksgiving Break, the PLTW high school class will begin their first venture into the text-based programming language Python, and professional IDE (Integrated Development Environment), Enthought Canopy.


Photos courtesy of Bob Damon.

Posted by aasdwebmaster On 02 December, 2015 at 11:28 AM  

 
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