The Kemp Elementary Innovation lab provides possibilities to create, invent, and inspire beyond the classroom walls by using technology resources.
Currently, we're working on many different things in the lab. If you would like to help out our lab with any supplies or volunteering, check out the links. I'll list our current state on supplies, so you'll know where we stand. Check out our Amazon wish list too! Here is some of what we're doing:
- Snap Circuit Kits: We use these kits with every grade level. Not only can the kids learn about the fundamentals of electricity, it teaches the kids logic and reasoning, as well as building problem-solving skills. The kids can troubleshoot to find out why it doesn't work as they expect. We challenge them to develop new ways to make circuits work, too! Kits are pretty resilient, but with so many kids using them, they are dropping in number. We currently have 6 working kits left.
- Little Bits Kits: These kits enable kids to understand a little more about electronics and build a foundation for future coding. Kits are used at every grade level. The kits are a little sensitive, so they have trouble standing up to a lot of use.
- Spheros: These cool toys are programmable robots. Kids learn the introductory phases of coding, as well as logic and problem-solving. The lab currently has 12 Spheros.
- MakeBlock mBots: Speaking of robots, the mBots are great. They work with the mBlock visual programming software, as well as Scratch or Arduino coding. The programming can be basic or more advanced. There are extension packages available, but we only use the basic package right now. We have 4 robots currently.
- EcoSTEM: The EcoSTEM kits were provided by the Captain Planet Foundation and help the kids understand the fundamentals of electricity, as well as how it can solve real-world problems. We have 2 EcoSTEM turbine kits.
- Computers: Our administration and our PTA have combined to make sure we have 6 new laptops for our lab. Kids work on these daily and they're holding up nicely. We also have 3 older Apple laptops and 3 older desktop computers. We can always use more! These are used for 3d design, video editing, programming, research, presentations, and more.
- iPads: Our administration has made sure we have enough iPads for the lab. We currently have 8 iPads for student use. These are used daily also for research, filming, coding and apps.
- Video Camera: PTA provided funds for our video camera, which we use for instructional videos. We also have a tripod and we use Mr. Brazile's green screen for special effects.
- MakeBlock Programmable Drones: PTA's funds have allowed us to purchase some programmable drones for kids to use. They can configure the drones and the programming to meet several challenges. We're excited about these!
- BreakOUT EDU: Once again, PTA has come through by giving funds which allow us to utilize the Escape Room format in the classroom. These challenges will allow kids to use their logic and problem-solving skills to the extreme!
- Skype: We are using Skype for Business, which is provided by CCSD, to connect classrooms to experts in the field. So far, we've had 5th grade classes Skype with Yellowstone National Park rangers about the constructive and destructive forces at work in the park. 4th grade classes will be Skyping with the Center of the West about the life and culture of Plains Indians. Later, we'll have virtual field trips via Skype to examine animal habitats, ecosystems, as well as World War II battlefields. Speakers about the Holocaust will also benefit 5th graders later in the year.
- 3D Printer: How cool is this?!?!? Kids are designing and printing real products. They use programs like Tinkercad and Sketchup to design their ideas. 5th graders are designing landforms, while 3rd and 4th graders have designed products to go along with their Genius Hour projects or their Reading Celebrations.
Special Thanks to Jim Bryant at Southeastern Lab & Equipment Installers for his help in finding and installing tables and equipment in our Innovation Lab (and the Science Lab).
These are the videos we submitted for the Cobb Tank 2016 grant competition, as well as the competition.
Our part starts at 24:00.