I am covering a class while my colleague is off on maternity leave. The students are working on their First Lego League Robotics challenge, which this year is focussed on Water issues and Hydro Dynamics. I started my maternity cover just after they had been introduced to the unit.
Although these classes are optional classes, they still follow many of the MYP Guidelines.
The statement of inquiry is: Humanity's capacity to endure depends on how we consume, conserve, recycle and dispose of water.
The Key Concept is: Change
The Related Concept is: Function
The Global Context is: Globalization and Sustainability
I wanted to share what we have been doing with our schools - feel free to use this if you are also doing the FLL competition this year!
We started off by looking at existing water problems and the solutions that have been created to tackle them. I was able to pull together slides from various Personal Project Presentations I had created to inspire my Grade 10s. The Life Straw, Right Cups and Drinkable Book were the most popular solutions. Link to the presentation here. I also spoke to our students about a local exhibition at the Carter Center called "Countdown to Zero" which looks at wiping our various diseases, including River Blindness and the Guinea Worm Problem.
As a class we thought about lots of different water problems and the far reach water has. We looked at the UN Sustainable Development Goals and located how many are relevant to our project!
As a class students decided if they wanted to work in groups or as individuals. They came up with research questions and started researching their own water problems and existing solutions. To support students in finding resources I gave them a list of useful websites and we moved ourselves to the library. Our librarians helped them navigate the Dewey Decimal System to find resources to support them.
After focussing on the problem and existing solutions, students started to design their own!
A lot of this group work can seem unstructured without regular check ins. I created several questions in RECAP - which students responded to by video! (Recap cuts off the students last names, so I can share their responses with you.)
The questions were:
We purposefully did not tell students about the presentation before this point, as we wanted them to focus on the research, not the aesthetics. We then told them what their presentation, which would include a Google Doodle/6 Word Headline, the problem, existing solutions and their own solution. I normally give students complete freedom of choice for their presentation tool, but I wanted them all to try something new, so directed them toward Adobe Spark Pages andMicrosoft Sway (I choose this, as they could be used for a live presentation, but also exist as an information website).
To support the students I created an example, "I got 99 Problems and Guinea Worm is One!" and I asked my colleague to make another, "Better Living through Less Water Chemistry"
At this point we had students use Mentimeter to describe what makes a good presentation and to tell us their own water problem.
Students had several classes to work on this before presenting. Students were also told that we would be focussing on the Approach to Learning (ATL) of 'Giving and Receiving Meaningful Feedback'. So after each student/group presented, they would fill in a feedback form to share with their classmates. We used the TAG strategy to support these students.
By Some examples of student presentations:
After this it was time for a mid-unit reflection. We went back to the Statement of Inquiry and Key and Related Concepts and discussed this in relation to the presentations we had seen. We all came up with new six word headlines, using some wording from these. We then watched the Lego Hydro Dynamics Mission Video and discussed this using this terms too. Presentation link here.
Now it is time to start building the Lego Missions and programming our robots. Below is the presentation I used to help structure this. We have also been watching Lego Documentaries while working (including the Lego Culture Show Episode and the Lego Story!) Presentation link here.
For the next few weeks they will be working on their Lego Missions. During this time they will be reflecting on what they have learnt in a learning log (I will get the to refer to the ATL they have self-selected to work on also). I'm also building a Lego Playlist of fun videos to have on in the background.
Are you doing FLL in our school? What tips do you have?