Archive for the ‘Computer’ Category

VEX IQ Robotics

Friday, January 6th, 2017

A group of our PHS Eighth Graders have been selected to attend an advanced robotics course (VEX IQ & Robotics) at the PV Net, PV Net ReSizeda non-profit STEM/ technology education center located at the Promenade on the Peninsula mall, next to the Pottery Barn store. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn more about robotics and programming.
If you’re new to robotics, VEX IQ is a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students. Our Eighth Graders can immediately become engaged in individual and group robotics projects and create robots with this intuitive, toolless system.
Our thanks go to PHS parent Mrs. Kate McKenna, who has graciously offered to drive these students to the PV Net for these classes, and to Sixth Grade teacher Eileen Mahoney for coordinating the details of this course.

Genius Hour

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

This past Tuesday, we were again amazed by the Seventh Graders’ “Genius Hour”! Their teacher, Ms. Lomeli, shares the details of this wonderful project:
After attending the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), I incorporated into our Seventh Grade curriculum Google’s concept of “20% time” when employees can pursue projects of interest to themselves. With our schedule, I named ours “Genius Hour,” and for one hour each week the Seventh Graders work on a project of their choosing. They first brainstorm ideas and then present them to me. I give approval according to feasibility criteria including likelihood of completion within the 10-week trimester, and the availability of supplies.
Tuesday concluded our Second Trimester, and the Seventh Graders gathered with their families, the Sixth Graders, faculty, and staff in the School Library to present their projects. One student chose photography and began taking many photos here on campus. I asked her to research the different types or genres of photography, and she chose to concentrate on macro photography – a focus on close-ups and details, as seen here in this beautiful photograph of a baseball found outside the Seventh Grade classroom.
Two other students used “Duolingo”; one learned German and the other, Italian. They created a PowerPoint presentation with subtitles in front of which the German-speaking student tried to buy a car from an Italian-speaking car salesman portrayed by the other student! It was hilarious!
Additional projects included building miniatures, learning coding on Kahn Academy, and recreating a song using digital instruments.
The enthusiasm for research continues for the Seventh Graders as they begin a new project for the final trimester of this year. Our Sixth Graders can’t wait to start their “Genius Hour” next year and are already talking with me about their creative ideas!

PowerPoint in Second Grade? Yes!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Our Computer Science teacher, Ms. Stella Demis, instructs our PHS students in all areas of computer technology including this current Second Grade project:
It is interesting that children as young as our Second Graders grasp and enjoy using the PowerPoint program to create a presentation. I begin our first PowerPoint lesson by showing a former Second Grader’s completed PowerPoint, as I want the children to be aware of what this program can do at their level. I take the instructional steps one by one in this directed lesson, so each student experiences success. For the content of this project, we use the grade’s current science lesson about Ocean Life.
Beginning with the title slide, we follow it with two content slides and an ending slide. Then we start having fun! We select pictures to add, then text, followed by animations, transitions, and background colors for each page. The children, of course, can’t wait to share their work with the entire class, resulting in the opportunity for each student to gather creative ideas for upcoming projects.
The Second Graders’ next PowerPoint will focus on dinosaurs, and the children will be doing the research for this PowerPoint in class. Students will be given a series of instructions on paper, and Ms. Demis will be available to assist them during this more self-guided project. Again, the children will proudly share their finished PowerPoints with their peers.
Having a working knowledge of this powerful presentation tool enables our PHS students to employ it again and again as they move through the grades and on to high school!

Hour of Code

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Peninsula Heritage’s Computer Science teacher, Ms. Stella Demis, shares news about our students’ participation in this week’s international “Hour of Code”!
Our students’ success as adults will depend a great deal on their understanding of technology. During December 8-14, designated as Computer Science Education Week, our students will be furthering their knowledge of one of the 21st century’s foundational skills: computer coding. In this way, we are preparing PHS students to be at the forefront of creating the technologies of the future.
This week we are joining other students worldwide to reach the goal of 100 million youth participating in the “Hour of Code.” Each class here at PHS, starting with Kindergarten, is receiving coding instruction using This site enables students to grasp an overview of coding and to create a visual design according to their own instructions. Beginning with direct assistance in Kindergarten, each grade’s students work at ever more independent levels in this coding process.
Coding has always been an integral part of the PHS Sixth Grade computer science curriculum. This year we will be using Kahn Academy instruction in learning Java programing language. Our Seventh Grade students demonstrated their knowledge of various computer coding languages during last week’s presentation of their “Genius Hour” projects!
You may wish to try a little coding yourself !

Genius Hour

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Inspired by Google’s employee policy of required time to pursue an individual area of interest, Ms. Lomeli created a “Genius Hour” for her Seventh Grade students each Friday afternoon beginning in September. Working on a project of their own choosing, the Seventh Graders presented their completed work today in our School Library. Invited guests for this presentation included the Sixth Graders, the parents of the Seventh Grade, Head of School Mrs. Cailler, and other faculty and administrators.
One student used C++ programming to create a mathematics problem-solving program that was interactive – a Sixth Grader spontaneously presented a problem today and the program solved it!
Three students, including one very talented girl, created their own video games using the Construct 2 program, while another wrote and read a short story in the mystery/thriller genre.
Another Seventh Grader used MikuMikuDance to create three animated skits using sound tracks from SpongeBob episodes – even the characters’ mouths moved with the words!
“I was truly amazed,” commented Ms. Lomeli at the conclusion of the presentations. “not only with the creativity but the perseverance of these students in solving the many problems they faced to complete their projects. It was also very gratifying to see how supportive they were toward each other.” Our PHS Character Qualities are truly internalized in our students!

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