DSEF Grant Brings Augmented Reality to Classrooms at Chickering, Pine Hill, and DSMS; WGBH Tests Virtual Reality Platform at DSMS

augmented_reality

A DSEF-funded virtual and augmented reality program is bringing the world into classrooms at Pine Hill, Chickering, and Dover Sherborn Middle School (DSMS).

The program enables educators to provide more dynamic learning experiences for K-8 students using Google Expeditions kits that allow teachers to take students on virtual field trips without leaving the classroom. The technology brings people, places and artifacts from around the world to students via more than 100 augmented reality expeditions and more than 900 virtual reality expeditions in History, Science, Nature, Technology, Engineering and the Arts. The kits are being integrated into the existing curriculum and shared among the schools.

DSMS Instructional Technology teacher, Sandra Sammarco, has been implementing the expeditions and tools to sixth and seventh graders in her Technology classes, as well as training other staff to build their proficiency using the tools in their classrooms. DSMS teachers in Science, History, Technology/Engineering, Foreign Language, and Math classrooms are getting their feet wet by exploring the variety of expeditions offered and testing how these tools work.

The technology is active in the elementary schools as well. “Our second grade class used the Augmented Reality devices to gain a stronger understanding of the states of matter,” said Rebecca Mealey, second grade teacher at Pine Hill. “For each state, the children had to access the 3D image and determine what it was showing. The exclamations and engagement as they realized what they were seeing were wonderful, and putting these somewhat abstract ideas into a more tangible format really helped the new learning stay with them. We’re looking forward to exploring the tide pool through virtual reality this winter.”

In a related program, WGBH recently visited Sandra Sammarco’s Technology Literacy classroom at DSMS to field test their instructional virtual reality platform. Students collaborated directly with the PBS Kids team on this project to help refine the usability and scalability of this instructional technology equipment and software. Students provided feedback on the Water on Other Worlds lesson plan that will be made available on the PBS LearningMedia platform. On their virtual mission, students explored the availability and accessibility of water in the solar system and traveled from Mars to distant Pluto investigating various planets and moons, collecting and comparing data about various other solar system objects they encountered.

The augmented reality program is just one of the more than $150,000 in DSEF grants awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year. DSEF supports all four schools and funds art and music, science, and technology initiatives; health and wellness and cultural enrichment; as well as core academic curricula.

 

DSEF Funds New Milling Machine at Dover Sherborn High School

Nick Grout, Head of Technology Engineering at Dover Sherborn High School, works with students operating the school’s new CNC milling machine. Students use computer software to create their own designs, break them down into parts, and program the machine to create virtually any pattern or shape.

The process brings principles of algebra and geometry to life and incorporates design thinking, problem solving, and programming skills. Digital fabrication enables precise cutting, carving, drilling and machining, and allows students to create more intricate designs, including complex shapes and curves.

The machine was purchased with a grant from the Dover Sherborn Education Fund (DSEF).

Kinetic Art Project Installed at Chickering

chickering-muralReflections in Time: The Mindfulness Kinetic Art Project, has been installed at the Chickering School. The project, made possible by a grant from the Dover Sherborn Education Fund (DSEF), was designed by Joshua Winer, and created with Charles Williams Winer and Todd Cahill.

The artwork, installed on the wall next to the main stairwell in the lobby, was designed to bring the experience of mindfulness into daily life at the Chickering School. The piece consists of three bands of flowing hand glazed ceramic tile mosaics, broken and rebuilt into rivers in a range of blues that float upwards along the white wall. These bands are bordered by mirrors, which create a vibrant sparkling surface. Each river contains two words, evoking different mental states of experiencing the world: seeing/listening; thinking/feeling; dreaming/imagining. Five polished brass mobiles spin slowly in front of the mosaics.

As part of the project, Chickering students had the opportunity to work with Mr. Winer on Studio Day, as part of a curriculum on kinetic art, mosaics, and mobiles created by Sue Pelletier, art teacher at Chickering.

According to Mr. Winer, the design was inspired by walks along the tide pools of the Massachusetts coastline, where he watched the tidal waters flowing in and out of sandy channels, carrying spirals of flotsam and jetsam, mica mixing with tiny silver fish and sparkling sand. He said that he found himself slowing down as he connected with the repetitive cycle of flow and movement, always changing yet always returning to the starting point. The design also references elements from the Reading Garden Mosaic, which Mr. Winer created for Chickering in 2010.

Project Time-Lapse Video

DS High School Goes to Space

Thanks to a generous grant from Dover Sherborn Educational Fund, this coming weekend, Saturday, June 10th, a group of Dover Sherborn High School students will be launching a near-space weather balloon… and hopefully successfully retrieving it.  Students in Dr. L’s physics classes have been preparing for the launch, investigating launch locations and equipment.  They will be completing pre-launch calculations and following the launch and retrieval this weekend.  If successful, the flight will be followed by data analysis this year as well as by next year’s physics classes.

DSHS-Space
3 2 1 Launch!

DSEF Awards $130,000 in Grants to Schools

The Dover Sherborn Educational Fund (DSEF) has awarded approximately $130,000 in grants to the Public Schools of Dover and Sherborn for the 2017 – 2018 school year.  Each of the four schools in the system, the high school, middle school, Pine Hill and Chickering, received funds stemming from grants authored by educators.  Funded grants include art and music, science, and technology initiatives; health and wellness and cultural enrichment; as well as core academic curricula. Continue reading