A Global Connection Through Science

Earlier this year, LS students in Grades 3-5 partnered with a school in Africa to explore electricity accessibility and how something we take for granted every day can be life changing for children in Ghana. This partnership was developed through the newly introduced Level Up Village Global Inventors class, which met every Tuesday for six weeks. The mission of Level Up Village is to globalize the classroom and facilitate seamless collaboration between students from around the world via pioneering Global STEAM (STEM + Arts) enrichment courses.

Through video conferencing and emails, King students engaged with their Ghanaian partner and shared information about themselves while learning about life thousands of miles away. Students then worked closely with their partners to gain a global perspective, identify a real problem, and use the engineering design process and design thinking to develop a proposed solution. Students decided to lessen the impact of limited electricity by providing 3D printed solar flashlight components.

Students were guided through the engineering design process and taught how to use Tinkercad, a 3D CAD design tool, to 3D print boxes for the flashlight components. The partners spent weeks planning, designing, and exchanging ideas to finalize a design that students printed and assembled in the LS Digital Lab.

This after-school offering aligned with the LS Science curriculum as well as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). According to the NGSS, "there are three distinct and equally important dimensions to learning science: Crosscutting concepts, Science and Engineering Practices, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. These dimensions are combined to form each standard - or performance expectation - and each dimension works with the other two to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time."

"We hope that students gain global perspective from this course while building upon their understanding of the engineering design process, Tinkercad, and 3D printing" said Sue Laramie, Computer Science and Digital Applications Faculty.