All Lower School students have had a chance to collaborate this year to program a KIBO robot in Spark, our Makerspace.   During their visit, students were introduced to the definition of a robot and the concept of programming.  These robot themed books were helpful to introduce the unit in the classroom:
In addition, students were exposed to the engineering design process since their challenge was to:

  • ASK
  • PLAN
  • TEST

KIBO is a robot kit specifically designed for young children aged 4-7 years old.  In pairs, students created a sequence of instructions (a program) using the wooden KIBO blocks.

They scan the blocks with the KIBO body to tell the robot what to do. Next, they pressed the button and the robot came alive (See video below).

If you would like to learn more, check out this interesting article about how to teach KIBO to young children in early education that appeared in The Economist.

Technology Guide for Parents

To help families navigate issues related to parenting and technology we have listed many realities, issues and solutions in the parent section of this blog including:

  • Useful resources and suggestions
  • Tips and Strategies for Parents
  • Helpful Settings and Distraction Tips
  • Internet skills our kids should learn

To access this information click here or you can click the Parent link on the upper navigation bar.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact the Tech Department.


During Visiting day this morning the community had the opportunity to engage in many  hands-on learning and making activities in Spark, Pike’s new innovation space, and throughout the library.  Parents and family, Alumni and many more had the opportunity to:

  • Program a Kibo robot
  • Explore student circuitry projects and build a circuit 
  • Make a Pike button
  • Try a version of the Marshmallow Challenge
  • Create a word cloud that represented their family 
  • Use the Force to create Star Wars-themed origami or paper crafts 
  • Participate in the world-wide Hour of Code

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The Tech/Library Team (The hosts of SPARKFEST)

Marshmallow Challenge

During opening meetings the faculty and staff took part in a Marshmallow Challenge activity after a presentation about our new makerspace, Spark.  Small groups embraced the difficult task and worked together to turn spaghetti, tape and string into a tall structure strong enough to support a marshmallow at the top.    Nice work everyone!  We look forward to many more collaborative activities in our makerspace in the future.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Rem167209015_d6830e6099_oember the choose your own adventure books? You can make choose your adventure stories using Google Apps tools like Docs or YouTube.  Click here to see a really cool choose your own adventure YouTube video.  Want to get the nuts and bolts of how to create these stories? The following Google Presentation has directions and examples of how to make and use choose your own adventures stories in your classroom. Here is an example created by a 3rd grade class.

Learn to Code this Summer!

Code.org_logo.svgI hope everyone is taking time this summer to set down their devices and enjoy the outdoors and each other.  You might also be looking for some quite time activities for yourself or your kids.  Edsurge has put together a Teaching Kids to <CODE> guide with lots of great resources around learning to code.   They encourage all ages to learn to code, as they argue it is the new literacy.  Scroll down the page and you will find an excellent write up of 50+ tools to learn to code, many of them free.