Middle School Related Arts Courses in Technology Education & STEM
Computers - 6th and 7th Grade
In Computers for the sixth and seventh grade, students are introduced to graphic design using Adobe Photoshop Elements. The use of basic drawing tools is taught, and students are required to create graphics. This course also includes an introduction to computer programming using a block coding platform. Students create animations and games using code. Eventually, Photoshop is used to develop custom graphics that are then used in combination with the coding platform. Robotics is the third aspect of this course. Students again use computer code to control robotic devices to fit specific directions.
Game Design - 6th and 7th Grade
Students will work both collaboratively and independently to create digital and physical games. They will follow the iterative design process to plan, prototype, playtest, evaluate and improve upon games to create a final product. Students have a choice of various styles of games such as board games, 2D video games, storyline choose-your-own-adventure games, and digital escape rooms. They will utilize the 4 C’s: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.
STEM - 6th and 7th Grade
Students will be introduced to the engineering and design process. Through several challenges, students will learn to understand how to identify problems, research possible solutions, develop a plan, execute the plan, and refine the product as needed. Students will identify problems that they experience or empathize with in the school, community, or world and then develop a solution to the problem. Students will also discuss the importance of sharing what was created with the public.
Digital Citizenship - 6th and 7th Grade
Digital Citizenship is a course designed to educate students on the ever-changing digital world, as well as provide practical experience regarding online safety. Additionally, students will explore ethical questions relating to technology, society and our choices as digital citizens. The curriculum covers a wide range of areas, so it appeals to a diverse group of students. Topics covered in Digital Citizenship classes include self-image, cyberbullying, digital footprint, communication, internet safety, security and creative credit.
Computers - 8th Grade
In Computers for grade 8, students review what they learned in sixth or seventh grade and then move into more advanced activities to further their knowledge. Using Adobe Photoshop, students will learn more about drawing tools but they will also learn the use of editing tools and special effects that can be applied to their graphics. Block coding is revisited; programming concepts are then extended with an introduction to programming languages such as HTML and Python. The Choregraphe application is used to program the NAO robot, and eventually, the Python code behind the blocks in this program is explored.
Digital Media - 8th Grade
Digital Media is a course designed to educate students on the ever-changing digital world, as well as to provide hands-on experience with software and equipment. The curriculum covers a wide range of areas, so it appeals to a diverse group of students. Topics covered in Digital Media classes include graphic design, animation, audio production and video production.
Physical Computing - 8th Grade
Students will be hands-on with physical computer hardware. They will utilize Raspberry Pi computers, Micro:bit devices, desktop and laptop computers, and electronic components to learn about physical computing. Through hands-on, choice-based projects, the students will explore computer components and circuitry. They will also learn to program code on the Raspberry Pi computers to program physical hardware components such as sensors and LEDs.
STEM - 8th Grade
Students use the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics software. Students’ progress through nine distinct missions in which they investigate, observe, calculate, and apply their knowledge to solve specific tasks. They apply and creatively adapt programming and problem-solving skills to design and build robots to solve different missions. These are designed to address ITEEE and ISTE technology standards, NSS, and Common Core State Standards. Students will then continue learning through the engineering design process learned in 6th or 7th grade by creating a mechanical toy using construction methods and 3D printing.