William F. Prisk Elementary School
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Technology

The Technology in Prisk's STEAM Program

The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch program is a comprehensive program designed for Elementary level students to experience comprehensive, hands-on learning in the areas of computer science, engineering, and biomedical technology.  As the first elementary school in the Long Beach Unified School District to explore PLTW (Launch), our third grade teaching staff has been trained and certified in teaching all modules of the Launch program including attending two statewide conferences, where our teachers meet with administrators, teachers from all levels, kindergarten through college, and industry professionals from all over the state of California.  

During the 2015/2016 school year third grade implemented a computer coding module using iPads.  For the 2016/2017 school year, third grade will continue with the computer science module of PLTW.  In this module, students learn the vocabulary of computer science and how computers “think” using step-by-step commands, or algorithms, inputted by the programer.  Then they apply that knowledge to create their own games on iPads through coding using coding blocks, shortcut blocks, repeat loops, and “if-this-then-that” blocks, just like college students use in introductory coding classes in college.  This program not only teaches them the foundational skills of computer programing, but it empowers them to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them, all while becoming creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge.  

Next year, as these students matriculate into fourth grade, the fourth grade teachers will be added into the PLTW fold, and continue the computer science module of the Launch program.  Then the following year, fifth grade will be added and our current third graders will then have completed three years of PLTW computer science. This will help them enter middle school and, eventually, high school and beyond with in-demand knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace.  

The future of PLTW at Prisk consists of adding the engineering and biomedical modules. This will create three distinct pathways within our STEAM program; computer science, engineering and biomedical. Eventually, PLTW Launch will be a schoolwide K- 5 program aligned to our shared vision and preparing students to be the innovators and problem solvers of the future.

Code.org is a K-5 program of courses that blend online, self-guided, and self-paced tutorials with “unplugged” activities that require no computer at all. The Computer Science (CS) Fundamentals curriculum is implemented within Code Studio, the online education platform. This curriculum consists of multiple courses, each of which has about 20 lessons that may be implemented as one unit or over the course of a semester. By the end of each course, students create interactive games or stories that they can share with anyone.  All lessons align to all relevant computer science standards, as well as to the ISTE standards. They additionally reinforce concepts and skills taught in other subject areas by integrating national Math, English Language Arts, and Science standards.  The Code Studio teacher home page provides teacher lesson plans and free student accounts so teachers can monitor student progress.

This year, students and teachers have had the opportunity to integrate technology into teaching and learning through the use of Chromebooks. Teachers have been trained in Google Apps for Education and applied those newly acquired skills to their instructional model. In turn, students have had many opportunities to develop both technical and conceptual understandings of technology resources and their integrated application through an interdisciplinary approach. Some example include, science 3-fold brochures, Google Slide presentations of California Mission projects, using the student portal to enter GSuite and share their Mission Projects, researching the life cycle of the mealworm, using the program Kahoot as an assessment tool, shared Google Docs for collaborative, inquiry based projects, Google Classroom, Google scavenger hunts, and compacting out of curriculum. Obtaining these devices has served to accelerate the integration of technology into daily instruction for all grade levels and students at our site.    

Hour of Code at Prisk

The Prisk Robotics Team uses a Google Hangout with USC Robotics Students!