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    #2376 03/22/07 10:39 AM
    Joined: May 2006
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    Our self-contained K-5 gifted program was awarded a bunch of money from the state legislature for "technology". The teachers have asked for help deciding what to buy, but are really interested in science ed technology. We looked at a middle school lab with computers and science units (robotics, transportation, alt energy, etc.) and will talk to salesperson tomorrow. I'd love to take this opportunity for us to be cutting-edge rather than doing what the middle schools are already doing, so I thought I'd see whether anyone had suggestions for technology, especially to further science ed.

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    Do all the kids have laptops? As I've mentioned before, I think touch typing is especially important for Gifted Kids. I'd suggest programs that allow the kids to build a Wiki of their own to share the information they are developing. I like the idea of using tech for science, but I like the idea of using tech that cuts across all subjects, and makes kids producers of knowledge, rather than consumers.

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    Trinity


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    In SlC there is a science & technology charter middle/high school that has some cool clubs and takes their kids to national competitions. The first one invloves designing and building a community using Sim City 3000
    http://www.futurecity.org/

    The second one involves robotics
    http://www.usfirst.org/community/fvc/

    Ania

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    Hi Ania,

    The FIRST robotic competition looks very interesting, especially because high school students can involve in it too. Do you or your older kid have experience with this league? My younger daughter Yanran is more math/engineering oriented although she denies that. It is not cool to be an engineer. But I may be able to convince her to give robotics another try.

    Yanran was in robotics team when she was in middle school. As one of few girls in the team, she did not have that great a time. I think that Yanran did not quite get the idea of programming at that time. She is much better equipped now.

    The robotics kit that they were using is Lego Mindstorms

    http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=8527

    This is NO toy. It has motors, gears, sensors, blocks, etc. Putting things together is easy. The hard part is to program the robot to do the things that you want them to do, like getting out of a maze by touching the walls.

    The Mindstorms kit is about $250 each. Well worth it for what it can do but you will need parent volunteers who have programming or engineering background to get anything going.



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