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Friday, 16 March 2018

STEAM Fest 2018


The event is open to students across Primary and Secondary and also includes winning projects from the 6th and 7th grade Science Fair. Special guests including schools and organisations around the country also attend as part of the STEAM Fest community outreach initiative. 

This year schools from as far away as Morazan and La Union are taking part along with schools from Santa Tecla and San Salvador.

The festivities kicked off at 7:30 this morning and ran until 12:20 pm. An innovative go-kart project was introduced this year. At 10:30 the access ramp next to the large pool was closed off and the races began.

The entire STEAM Fest event was streamed live on the ABC Facebook page.
 If you were unable to catch the live streams you can also them from the Facebook page. 

Here are a few pictures from Thursday evening when the STEAM Team and
Crew set up the Auditorium with the help of our wonderful maintenance people.

Click here to view all the media from the event.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sustainability Project 2018

We have recently finished running our 7th-grade sustainability project in which the students research sustainable farming, design and build actual vertical gardens as well as automated MinecraftEdu gardens.

I am sharing two video walkthroughs below with more to come soon in our latest LRC playlist on Youtube.

We hope you enjoy the videos. Here is the link this unit as well as our collection of ABCICT lessons which have been developed over the past 10 years.

Here are some images from certain activities in the project!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Building STEAM Momentum

We Launched our 3rd annual STEAM Fest this week with a short Animoto teaser.

We love Animoto and have so or year. It lets us create short, dynamic videos on the go with a minimum of fuss.

Now that STEAM Fest has been launched we want to help our kids and possibly inspire them through weekly exposure to cool innovations from around the world. STEAM Fest is about innovating and solving problems and it is also empowering our kids, by providing the opportunities to dream, the tools and support to design, and often the materials with which to create and build their own innovations.

I would like to share our first Innovation Spotlight with you and ask that you encourage your children to not only dream but to discover ways to make those dreams reality through active learning experiences.

Please click here to view the video.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Library 2017 Makerspace Conference

The LRC will be presenting a session on STEAM in the LRC, today at the 2017 Makerspace conference. 

This is the link to register, as well as access the schedule of powerful PD sessions for the event.

Do consider joining us to learn how we make the most of free and low cost,  accessible resources in mobile maker spaces, in lessons in clubs as well as outside of lessons. 

The session will be in Spanish and recordings will be available shortly after.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Updates to Our Maker Space

The Maker Space, which we started 2 years ago, has gone through quite a few changes.

This year we moved a few things around and ordered quite a few new kits and tools based on feedback from teachers and students as well as our own observations on how space was used. We have also enlarged the space it occupies to include one of our large work tables with better access to power.

We have reorganised and redefined areas, but possibly the biggest change is the attention the Science Nook is getting. This can be found at the back of the maker space just in front of the ICT Lab. It now sports microscopes, solar panel robot kits, circuit blocks, engineering kits, board games and more. The students also have access to our 3D printer and printing pens and a good selection of appropriate magazines and books for young scientists, engineers, tinkers and thinkers.

The LRC Maker Club has already started and the response has been great. Over the summer we received a long awaited shipment of replacement 3Doodler Pens. We had the opportunity to view them in action and chat with the company representatives at the annual ISTE Conference and were convinced the 3Doodler Start pens were the way to go. They are non-toxic the tips do not get hot and they were 3Doodler, the only company whose pens has stood up to the rigours of our maker space and ICT lessons. We weren't disappointed.

Have a look at some of the initial designs done by the students during their first lesson.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Helping Creativity Blossom

The new school year is here and with it many changes, improvements, and tweaks by staff in our attempts to make this school year a powerful journey for our students filled with creativity and student choice. While a lot has happened so far, there is much to be done.

Books and Equipment are still arriving and many boxes need to be unpacked.  Items also need to be catalogued and moved to the maker space, library spaces and the ICT Lab where they can be used by teachers and students.

Sharing and testing need to be an extension of this unpacking and organising activity, so that staff members are better aware of what we have and think about ways in which they can use all this great stuff. Sometimes it is hard to remember that it isn't just about the stuff.

Our walls are covered with shelves of amazing materials, books, resources, and recycled items. Unfortunately, that isn't enough if a key factor is missing, creativity,  staff, student and parent creativity, community creativity, the ability to try things out, tinker, fail and get back up and try again.

Our jobs as educators, parents and school leaders, (some of us wear several of these hats), is to support students while their imaginations soar. We have a duty and provide experiences for students that enable them to explore, create and share their ideas and discoveries. This has got to be one of the main roles of school in the 21st century if we want to ensure that our students discover their talents, passions and feel supported in taking risks, failing and learning from their mistakes.

I came across this short video on Scoop. It this morning and thought it epitomised these ideas quite well.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

DVA 2017

The PAC was jam packed and the air crackled with anticipation, as the lights went down and the show began.  DVA 2017 commenced with special introductions and welcomes, two powerful musical performances, videos from across the school and from special guests, as well as three exhilarating dance performances by the 11th-grade circus groups. These were just a few highlights from the evening and then came the winning categories...

The quality of our student video work has skyrocketed in recent years. Each year we share these successes with the ABC community through our annual Digital Video Awards. DVA 2017-Film Makers of the Future,  was a huge success full of amazing student video submissions.

This year's DVA was unique in a great many ways, one being the opening up of the event to participants from other schools. This year it was our honour to host, the American School and Acton Academy, whose students took home quite a few awards in different categories.

G-Suite and DVA
We ran the entire event out of G-Suite including voting forms and folders of videos, which is the reason our student DVA videos are not on our Youtube Channel yet.  The beauty of this system is the low noise surroundings that the G-Suite folders provide and the privacy it affords our students and their work. It is also an internal system which not only allows us to apply certain restrictions to voters, embed video content,  and view the results on the go, as well as when we close the polls.

G-Suite played a huge part in the planning as well. Meetings were run through Docs, to-do lists were managed through Keep and posters produced through Slides. The entire program was a huge Google Doc and the internal structure of the event was contained within a series of shared folders in Drive.

Back to the Event
This year's theme was SciFi so we were able to reuse a few of our props from DVA 2016-Star Wars. Glow sticks and black lighting abounded. The photo booth was topped off by a portal containing a rotating psychedelic swirl and the stage was decked out in fluorescent curtains of dots, somewhat reminiscent of the late 1960s.

This year we brought our 12th grade Film student Victor back as part of the committee and as was the case last year,  he produced the entire main video production for the evening. We introduced a new award this year to honour Victor's Work throughout his ABC journey, the VHS Director's Award. VHS may bring to mind obsolete video cassettes, however, that is a sweet coincidence. The initials also belong to our top Film student, Victor.

It is difficult to describe the goings on of such a large event. Sometimes pictures speak more than words and this is one such case.

Here is a link to our DVA Flickr Album which truly helps one understand the mood of the evening and captures much of the action.