Progress Reports on 2018-2019 Grants in Action

Greg Pardo, Connecticut Farms School, was awarded a grant to refurbish a
non-working pinball machine. His goal was to have the students disassemble the
machine, explore electronics and electrical engineering and work as a team to
bring the machine back to working condition. The 49 students in two fourth-grade
classes have made observations, determined the cause and effect, used machine
schematics to see relationships and trace circuits, all while developing etiquette
and courtesy and learning about trade jobs and tools.
Mr. Pardo stated, “I am very pleased with how this project is going. When we
first started, we plugged in the machine and nothing worked. We are going over
the entire machine with a fine tooth comb. We have been testing and soldering
broken wires, damaged fuses, and gummed up components. We are taking a
systematic approach to repairing the machine while learning about relays, coils,
transformers, and even inventors such as Edison and Nikola Tesla. Currently the
machine is in several different parts. I am hoping that we will get it working, but
as I tell my students, it’s not about the finished product, but the process. We are
having a lot of fun with this project and I am looking forward to showing it to the
foundation when it is complete.”

Jennifer Reguinho, Hannah Caldwell, was awarded iPads to differentiate
lessons in her kindergarten classroom. Ms. Reguinho shared, “I have students
who came in to kindergarten reading on a first grade level, so while I teach basic
letter sounds and formation to my whole group, I will assign a reading lesson to
my higher level learners on iReady or Razz Kids. I had a new student join us from another country and could not speak one word of English when he first started. I
have allowed him to use the iPad to go over common vocabulary words for the
week and he absolutely loves it! His language has already improved! Students
absolutely LOVE to use iPads in the classroom! It makes learning fun!”

These are two of the seven grants awarded by the Foundation for this school
year to benefit the students in the Union Public Schools.

Here is a video of 4 students that built and programmed this robot on their own. I told them that I wanted to film their robot. I didn't know they were going to speak. Listen closely and you'll hear  them talking about each motor and its function and how they programmed it to move forward, backwards and strike. You'll hear the boy reference the brick which is the small computer that drives drives the different motors. This particular robot has three different motors that make it move and strike.

Constructing Robots

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These are student in Greg Pardo's third grade classroom at Connecticut Farms constructing robots. Once they are complete, they will begin working on programming.