Queen Creek Unified School District has new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) resources for teachers to utilize starting in the 2018-2019 school year.
One of the new resources is a digital Star Lab System. This portable planetarium is a teaching aid that is geared toward astronomy, but can also be used for social studies and other science topics. Teachers can choose which topic they want to teach by checking out a binder full of information for the lesson, and scheduling a time for Star Lab. Examples of lesson topics include the possibility of moon colonization, dark matter and the creation of galaxies, and major features of the continents. The Star Lab can also generate a star map from anywhere in the world as well as in any year.
Teachers can also check out Virtual Reality headsets. VR headset lessons include exploring an Icelandic volcano, a rainforest in Tanzania, the Great Wall of China, and a shark diving excursion. Many other lessons can be programmed in the headsets for student and teacher use.
Coding resources are also available. They include Ozobots which are small robots that follow lines and change direction using Color Codes. By changing the color of the marker being used, the coding in an Ozobot can dictate how it moves, what direction it goes, and even do tricks like moving in a zigzag shape or spin. As students master this, the Ozobots can be coded with drag and drop coding on a computer or tablet and then transferred to the robot for execution.
Cubetto is another coding activity that is available for QCUSD teachers to check out. The activity consists of seven coding blocks that students put together to create coding programs which will move Cubetto. This activity is great for teaching basic coding and critical thinking skills.
All of these resources are available for students to use starting in the 2018-2019 school year. Teachers check out the equipment for their classes to use as a supplement during lessons or to teach new skills that are a part of the district’s focus on STEAM education.