Summer Institute Courses

The South Fayette Summer STEAM & Innovation Institute

Thank you for participating in the South Fayette Summer Institute! The expectation for participating in the Institute is that you implement something you have learned in your classroom, or in after-school programs, during the upcoming school year. We are so proud to be working with so many enthusiastic, creative educators! Our promise to you is that we make it easy for you to implement an idea, a project, a mindset when you leave your session.

Our team will reach out to you during the upcoming school year to help gauge the impact your work has had in your district or in your after-school connected learning space. If you need additional support during the year we will connect you to our teacher facilitators so that they might help you in reaching your vision. We ask that you provide input since the information you provide will also provide the feedback we need for continuous improvement. We are dedicated to improving our services to you. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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Join the Maker Movement

Instructor: Melissa Unger, K-2 STEAM Teacher, South Fayette School District

The Maker Movement is the term now used for creating inventors, designers, and tinkerers. In this innovation-driven economy, it is considered critical to America's future for our schools to create innovative thought leaders. Join us as we provide you with a springboard of Maker experiences to help you set up your own Makerspace in your school for young engineers, designers, and computer programmers! You will learn how to introduce elementary classrooms to mechanical engineering by making squishy circuits with conductive Play-Doh and LED lights and then automate student inventions using MaKey-MaKey. Using online resources and “unplugged” activities, you’ll learn the basics of computer programming and computational thinking as you design digital projects. Then venture into physical computing by exploring various robotics options for your students. There will be many exciting opportunities to share--both high tech and low tech--bring your thinking cap and be prepared to have fun inventing and making!

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Low-Tech, High-Impact STEAM Activities

Instructor: Melissa Unger, K-2 STEAM Teacher, South Fayette School District

If you are looking for low-tech, high-impact STEAM activities to use with your elementary students, this is the session for you! Join us for a day of Making as participants take part in a variety of building and design challenges appropriate for a variety of subject areas. You will learn how to introduce elementary classrooms to the Engineering Design Process with circuitry projects, create a cardboard arcade, create 3D storybooks, and more! All projects will use recycled materials or items commonly found at the dollar store.

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Scratch: Foundations of Coding through Project Design

Shad Wachter, 3-5 Technology Literacy Teacher, South Fayette School District

At South Fayette we believe computational thinking is the new literacy and so we have created a computer science/STEAM pathway extending K-12. Scratch block-based programming language is our foundation. Scratch is so powerful in teaching computer programming concepts and practices that it has been used for the first two weeks in the Introduction to Computer Programming course at Harvard University. As students gain experience applying this language to problem-based learning, they learn the fundamental concepts of programming, logical thinking and problem-solving which they can apply in all areas of their life. Join this session if you would like to find ways to integrate coding in any curricular area. You will learn how to use Scratch to create interactive stories, quizzes, games, music and art. In addition to gaining computational thinking skills you will be introduced to computer science concepts and the knowledge skills, and dispositions necessary for your students to succeed in the future of work in this global economy.

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Setting Yourself Up for Success in Your MakerSpace

Victoria Lojek & Samantha Edkins, 3-5 STEAM Teachers, South Fayette School District

How might we create a culture of making, building, and designing? This two day-session will lead the way into what it takes to begin a new kind of learning in your school. We will complete activities that demonstrate how the culture of the space positively can impact the learning of the students. You will examine your current virtual and physical curriculum and learn ways to engage, excite, and promote creativity among your learners! From virtual lesson designing to assessment, this session will give you all the tips you need to create a successful discovery learning environment in your virtual and physical classroom. This session will leave you with many tried and true tools, MakerSpace procedures, questioning techniques, and more to start your year off right! You will leave feeling a lot less overwhelmed and excited to dive into the 2020-2021 school year!

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Coding: From the Virtual to Physical World

Shad Wachter, 3-5 Technology Literacy Teacher, South Fayette School District

Engaging students in programming is fun, especially when they can explore with robots. The Sphero robot and Sphero Educational resources provide endless opportunities for students to learn through STEAM activities. In this session, you will apply early concepts of programming while coding a robot’s movement, lights, and sensors. As you learn these basic skills, you will then problem solve, explore, and iterate through real world problems. Learn to question and discover through discrete math as you analyse the data produced by the Sphero’s sensors. Utilize the Sphero Edu application to identify ways for your students to connect their understanding of robotics and programming to a variety of curricular areas like ELA, math, science, art, and music.

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Hummingbird & micro:bit

Victoria Lojek & Samantha Edkins, 3-5 STEAM Teachers, South Fayette School District

In this session, participants will learn how to use online instruction of MakeCode and virtual Micro:Bit to prepare students for programming with HummingbirdBits in-person. We will begin by learning how to identify parts and program hummingbird components using MakeCode. Participants will each work on skill building to become comfortable in planning and creating a project to use in their curriculum. Participants will be provided with several example hummingbird lessons to use in their curriculum. The focus of this session is for participants to leave with hummingbird and MakeCode lessons they are excited to do in their virtual and physical classroom.

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Data Science at the Intersection of Art & Science

Jessica Kaminsky, Education, Technology, and Data Consultant, CREATE Lab at CMU

Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation, South Fayette School District

Data can launch inquiry, build student voice, open inclusive decision making, and encourage mindfulness. During this workshop, we will play with data as a tool to explore these themes. We will dig into foundational data processes - data collection, data analysis, and data visualization - so that we can find creative connections and applications. Participants can expect to create their own datasets, explore already developed datasets, play with data analysis tools, and create data visualizations that tell a story. We will be using both digital and analog methods for exploring data. This workshop is designed for the data-curious and data-reluctant, but all are encouraged to join.

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Data Science in an Environmental Sustainability Context

David Sanchez, Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering,

University of Pittsburgh

The application of data science is continually expanding. From medical images, to self-driving vehicles, to text analysis, advertising, robotics and more. Join us as we provide you with hands-on concepts, tools, data, and relevant current events focused on environmental sustainability that can be used to engage aspiring engineers, designers and computer programmers!

You will learn how to introduce middle school/high school classrooms to data analysis concepts using real-world data in arenas such environmental quality and environmental impacts of products/ industrial processes.

Using excel or python you’ll learn the basics of computer programming and computational thinking as you analyze environmental data in a multitude of ways. Then you’ll venture into building the narrative around your datasets often using local issues and mapping the learning outcomes to Next Generation Science Standards. There will be exciting opportunities to discuss and develop approaches to data analytics for your middle school/high school classroom.

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Prototype Design: Designing a Mobile App for Social Good

Anthony Mannarino, 6-8 Technology Education Teacher, South Fayette School District

Most likely you have thought about many different apps to improve your classroom, student education, or the life of someone. Why not get started now? App Inventor, developed by MIT Media Lab is a block-based app development tool that enhances computational thinking skills – thinking logically, algorithmically, recursively, and in multiple layers of abstraction – as you learn the process of developing an app. In this inspired learning session, you will bring your ideas to life as you begin to develop an app and games for a mobile device.

You may not leave this course with that million-dollar idea that launches your career as an entrepreneur, but it may be just the thing that gets you, and your students, started.

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Introduction to Data Science & Data Visualization

Jordan Mroziak, Education, Technology, and Data Consultant, CREATE Lab at CMU

Lynette Lortz, Middle & High School CS Teacher, South Fayette School District

We have already seen the push for data in more area of educational decision making than ever before. But what do we mean when the word “data” is mentioned? Is it a grade? A percentage? A location? Or might we think about data more broadly? Join us for a week of data discussions and how we might learn about students, school systems, and the world around us by rethinking data for learning. We will explore low and high tech approaches to exploring data and visualizations while collaborating on lessons / examples that you can drop into your existing curricula.

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Collaborative Problem-Solving During CT Lessons

Cassie F. Quigley, Associate Professor of Science Education, University of Pittsburgh

We know that collaboration is a critical skill for 21st century learning, however fostering productive collaboration is challenging. Ever worry that one student is doing all the work? Curious about how to assess if students are collaborating well? If so, this workshop will help you look at how to ensure that students are productively solving problems during your computational thinking activities. We will teach you how to use a rubric to assess your students’ collaboration skills and provide you will video exemplars of students collaborating at different levels. This workshop will be useful whether your students are in face-to-face or online/remote learning environments.

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