The High-Tech Academy teacher at Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS), Mrs. Julie Bravard Johnson, has been instructing her students on how to make arcade machines in order to advance their initiative of learning more about the science of programming. A unique twist to this technology project was that it involved fifth graders to test their product.
Mrs. Jessica Daugherty, High Ability teacher at Fortville Elementary, took her fifth grade students to beta test the creations made in the high school class. This collaboration also helps to extend the current “Cardboard Arcade” unit that the elementary high ability students take part in each spring. This annual project stems from the Imagination Foundation’s Global Cardboard Challenge.
One particular project created by a group of Mrs. Bravard Johnson’s students was called “Drop Slam.” The point of the game is to maneuver a ball from the top of the machine to the opening at the bottom. Other projects involved using chromebooks and other devices to track the scores obtained when the fifth grade students tested the games.
The purpose of having the fifth grade class test out the machines was to identify and fix any problems that the arcade games might have, and to improve the technology. The elementary students had the opportunity to explain the positives and the negatives of the games that they tested. Through this collaborative project, the elementary schoolers were able to work on problem solving and the high school students learned from their mistakes, producing more advanced programming.
The MVHS students shared with the elementary schoolers the infographic that they created after the 5th graders tested teh products. Then, the high school students taught the 5th graders how to use programs to create similar infographics for their M&M data projects.
Outside of the High-Tech Academy, MVHS has recently been offering a wide range of high-tech learning opportunities to students, such as the new Makerspace that all classes can use.
Please see the MVHS High-Tech Academy photo gallery to view more pictures.