Around this time of year when I introduce animation in PowerPoint, I try to find something topical to animate.
So I’ve got my 4th graders to think about ‘Man and Machine‘ -specifically how a human could evolve into a humanoid. We use the custom animation tool to draw a path to make the human glide across the screen to turn into a robot.
To preface it, I showed them a clip of Asimo, the Honda humanoid project. Asimo is the acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility. It is a 4-foot 3-inch character that can run, climb steps, and play a bit of football (soccer). Even those who aren’t into robotics get instantly engaged.
I asked the class what they thought of man and machine after watching this; some thought it was a bit weird and creepy, but pretty cool.
Once the unit is completed, I figure this will be a good way to re-introduce Coding for the Hour of Code project. How do they build a set of instructions to make an inanimate object move? Coding and animation have a lot in common!
So today is Space Day! Our 6th year, Space Day is turning out to be quite an event!
This year we have two keynote addresses from NASA scientists:
Dr. Jim Rice, Co-Investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Project. His work has involved mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Projects, the Mars landing site selection for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder in 1995. he is currently involved in manned missions back to the Moon and Mars.
Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, is the Deputy Project Scientist working on the mission of the Mars Curiosity rover. He helps lead an international team of over 400 scientists. His work has involved geologic studies of Mars with regard to surface properties, volatility, and climate history.
Other sessions will be specific to grade levels:
We could not have done this without the support of:
Just announced plans for Space Day at Salt River Elementary – our 6th year!
As the event grows bigger each year, my thanks to those who will be supporting it:
Space science is a fascinating field, and gives us who focus on STEM an ability to widen the lens. Consider some of the recent developments
This year I’m using VR both as a project, and as a motivation tool – to create a brochure. My 6th graders understand some editing and formatting skills. So to raise the bar, I got them to research and put together a brochure on Virtual Reality.
Granted it’s a lot of work. Understanding VR itself takes some time. They must create content for the 6-panel document, look up content, find pictures etc. As work progresses, there is a parallel discussion of what VR looks like, using a few cardboard headsets I acquired. One student even brought in two headsets. (One had cost him just five bucks!)
The incentive was that any student who showed me they had three panels formatted, and with required content, would get to experience a VR roller-coaster ride. Didn’t think a 40-minute class could move so fast!
Funny how sneaking in a piece of tech into a lesson can accomplish much more than a hand-out!