As we all know, the world of technology is not only evolving constantly but does so very quickly, and this is the spirit that is in the air in the ICT Department at Juan de Lanuza. Let’s have a look at the main activities that have been taking place from the beginning of the school year at all levels.
- Retotech. National programming and robotics competition. We are taking part again this year after last year’s huge success, where the team and their teacher won a national prize. This year, however, the team is made up of students from 3rd ESO. We’ve received a laser printer and 12 kits which the main sponsor (BQ) has donated to the school to help learn about programming and robotics. The theme this year is to create a product that can help society. The team already has their idea and we are sure they are going to do great.
- Servet. In this contest, 13 schools around the country will launch their experiments 35,000 metres into space next March. In our case, students from 1st Baccalaureate are particularly interested in measuring air pollution in the Zaragoza area. They are already working on a prototype.
- ICT Olympiads. The second ICT Olympiad of Aragón started in December. After the outstanding success last year in the first edition, our students were keen to go again. 9 Lanuza students were selected for the final and one finished in second place in the Algorithm category, he will goon the represent Aragón in the national final. The school was rewarded for being the third school with most participants.
- GetIT from Amazon. A project designed for 1st ESO to work on concepts concerning the Cloud and understanding how the Internet works. This project starts in January after receiving a visit from the project ambassador for Amazon, Spain.
- Technology Olympiads. We have signed up for more international programming olympiads, specifically the NTT Data Foundation’s, designed for older Primary students. This gives students the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge to work.
This is a place where our students can work on their tech projects with their classmates, or even with students from other year groups. One of the advantages this year is that we don’t have to keep the year groups separate and therefore the experience is much more enriching for the students. We have had to increase our timetable in order to cover the increased demand. Apart from our usual times of Monday and Wednesday after lunch, we’re also available from 2pm to 3.20pm Monday to Friday, so students can combine extracurricular activities with their Makerspace projects.
ERASMUS+ MAKERSPACE PROJECT
The School applied to coordinate a European mobility project for students with the collaboration of three other schools from Poland, Turkey and Croatia. The project revolves around programming, robotics and Makerspaces in schools. We have visited Poland and Turkey and are about to head off to Croatia. The trips are two weeks long and the students have had an unforgettable time.
- European Code Week. Every October, Europe celebrates this event with the aim of encouraging students to participate in activities related to programming and robotics. This year students from 5th Primary up to 3rd ESO participated in a flowchart (a graphic tool to show the solution to a problem) competition. We have just been awarded Recognition of Excellence in carrying out the project with three other European schools carrying out the activity which we initiated and promoted.
- Matatalab Pilot project. Matatalab is a small device designed to be used in preschool and early Primary classes in order to develop a foundation in computational thinking. We are lucky enough to be included in their pilot project and are using six complete kits in Early Years and 1st and 2nd Primary.
- Family Robotics. This year we’ve been able to restart this activity where families can come to have fun while they learn about programming and robotics. Once a fortnight the beginners group learns the basics and ends up completing a project at the end of the year, while the advanced group (families who completed the beginners group previously) develop their own yearly projects.
- Lanuza Radio. Students from 6th Primary and ESO are setting up the school’s first radio programme. Right now they are in the planning stage but they hope to be broadcasting very soon.
- Heraldo Escolar. For the 7th year running, our ICT coordinator has written a column for the education supplement of Heraldo de Aragón. This year’s piece focuses on the area of computational thinking, robotics and new technologies in general.
- Conference in the Patio de la Infanta de Ibercaja. Cristian Ruiz also opened the series of conferences “Teaching Challenges” with a talk about the importance of computational thinking as a key skill in the 21st Century, and how the new education law presents it, while also giving an overview of how other European countries are teaching it.
As you can see, this is a dynamic department which offers many possibilities for our students to use programming, robotics and other technology not only to be more creative but also as a means of expression. And we’re only getting started!