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Technology enhances science at Hillcrest

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Students at Hillcrest Christian School in Jamestown race rubber-band cars Wednesday that they made while studying about physics. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2
A pilot program is using technology to provide students with an enhanced science learning experience within a Christian-based curriculum.

Hillcrest School in Jamestown has been integrating STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) in the grade 1-8 curriculum all year, said RaeLea Frishman, principal. A new project incorporates critical thinking, hands-on experiences and creativity to enhance STEAM in a small school setting, she said.

The students are taking part in an “Our Creator’s Space” program through Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga, Tenn. The purpose is to learn more about who “our creator” is through learning and discussion, she said.

“The Our Creator’s Space program is a pilot project for us,” Frishman said. “We are piloting the lesson plans for the circulatory system and forces of motion, but we are implementing the STEAM concepts and tools into our regular classrooms.”

That includes live-streaming lessons with the university prior to classroom activities, she said.

The program uses Google Cardboard Virtual Reality, a viewer with a mobile device that is used for a 3-D virtual reality field trip presentation in Google Expeditions, she said.

Study of the human circulatory system included a virtual reality tour with an inside view of the heart, blood vessels, veins and arteries, Frishman said. To learn the forces of motion the class took a virtual field trip to Kennedy Space Center to experience what forces are needed for a rocket to lift off from the ground and into space, she said.

“We are excited to be able to incorporate them into other classes in the future,” Frishman said.

The students also use Ozobots for learning, she said. The small robots move by programming different color combinations to control speed and direction.

The Ozbot learning had students drawing the path that blood takes to flow through the heart and then translated that into color codes to direct the Ozobot along a similar path, Frishman said. Students designed rollercoasters to help better understand how potential and kinetic energy forces are involved in the Ozbot movement along the track using principles of physics, she said.

The students built rubber band-powered cars that were made in a 3-D printer to understand how the forces of gravity and friction affect movement, Frishman said.

Hillcrest will host an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at 116 15th Ave. NE.

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