Technology the "T" in STEM at Mandel JDS

When it comes to technology at Mandel JDS, we envision a learning community where the best available technology is used in the most effective way as a means to improve learning and the educational environment. Technology itself should not be a goal in our school, but a means to the goal of providing our students with the 21st-century skill sets that they need for success in school, work, and life.

In order for students to become technologically proficient and productive, they are trained to use multi-faceted productivity tools, such as Google Tools, Code Monkey, Kodable and more. Students also study technology and communication applications and apply design concepts to communicate with multiple audiences, acquire and disseminate information, and enhance learning. Students engage in information literacy strategies, such as learning how to conduct searches with better precision and apply information-management skills to answer questions and expand knowledge. Our students at Mandel JDS work on applying a number of problem-solving strategies that demonstrate the nature of design, the role of engineering, and the role of assessment.

We use technology to guide students to a larger body of knowledge, to encourage differentiated pathways to learning, and to guide learning beyond the classroom. Students use technology to research, design, analyze, compose, and communicate. Through the study of technology and its many uses, Mandel JDS students are prepared to enter the world with technological confidence.

Kodable - 3rd Grade

Kodable is a scaffolded computer science curriculum for our 3rd graders. Kodable’s lesson plans are proven to teach Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication through coding. This program leaves students with a set of skills that span across content areas.

Kodable is a great exercise for teaching kids to think logically and learn to sequence through problems step by step. This sort of procedural literacy builds an appetite and background for later computer-programming learning.

Codemonkey - 4th Grade

Codemonkey or Coding Adventure is an online tool that teaches programming in a real programming language called CoffeeScript. In the game, users control a monkey and help it catch bananas by writing lines of code.

The topics that Codemonkey covers are objects, function calls, arguments, loops, variables, arrays, for loops, function definitions, boolean conditions, until loops, if and if-else conditions, boolean operators, keyboard and mouse events.

The programming language the students learn through CodeMonkey is called CoffeeScript. It’s a language that compiles to JavaScript, and like JavaScript it is used in the industry primarily for web applications. We chose this language for a few reasons, but mainly because of its friendly syntax, which resembles the way we write in English, compared to other programming languages.

New in the Middle School - CodeMonkey in עברית!

CodeMonkey has been so successful at Mandel JDS that we decided to pilot it in Hebrew with our 8th graders. They are not only coding...but can code in another language. If you think about it, that is the convergence of two languages (CoffeeScript and Hebrew)!

PowToon - 4th and 5th Grade

PowToon is a web-based animation software that allows you to create animated presentations by manipulating pre-created objects, imported images, music and user-created voice-overs. PowToon is used by businesses to create engaging, creative presentations and can be similarly used for educational assessment and content delivery.

PowToon promotes: Engagement - using animations in place of traditional presentations increase engagement with content; Creativity - students are able to creatively express their message to the intended audience with no previous experience in animation; Flexibility - even with the library of pre-created objects, the ability to import images and music, add text and create voiceovers means that PowToon can be used for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Lego Education WeDo 2.0 - Lower School Elective

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is a hands-on, elementary science solution that develops science practices in the classroom through a robot-based learning system. The unique solution combines the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software, engaging and standards-based projects which inspire every student’s desire to discover the world around them.

With Lego Education WeDo 2.0, Mandel JDS students explore, create, and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program, and modify projects. As they collaborate in small teams, they engage with science, engineering, technology, and coding, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation.

After School Enrichment - Technology & Hebrew

New this year, we now offer an integrative STEM program in Hebrew after school. The students carry out different STEM experiments while learning and speaking in Hebrew.

Students have experimented and figured out how to poke holes in a plastic bag filled with water without spilling a drop.

How to inflate the balloon without blowing into it...

How to do create colorful milk swirls...

How to create a volcano in a glass...

How to make a three-layered mixture...

How to insert a skewer into inflated balloon...

How to flip an upside down Glass of water...

How to extract color from a purple cabbage...

All while learning and speaking in עברית!

Technology in the Middle School

The Mandel JDS Fabrication Lab (FABLAB) is the hub of energy and experimentation in our Middle School. We have a Glowforge 3D Laser Cutter that can be used to cut materials such as wood, acrylic, plexiglass, plastic and more. We have Roland and Silhouette vinyl cutters that can be used to cut a number of materials into stickers if using vinyl and other types of decorations if using other materials. We have a group of students that will be creating custom socks this year using the Roland cutter. We also have a large format printer that can print up to 44 inches wide for student projects and presentations.

New this year are the Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots. Middle School students create solutions to common problems by building robots that solve those problems. The EV3 robots foster creativity, problem solving and cooperative learning skills. Our goal is to have a Mandel JDS team compete in the LEGO First League. The LEGO Mindstorms also help students further their knowledge of how programming works, specifically in the field of robotics.

Also new this year are our Sphero Bolt's. These tiny robots pack a powerful punch. In Creative Minds, grades 3-5 will use these robots to gain a better understanding of how programming works and translates into immediate action. For example, the robots can be programmed to paint for someone who may not be able to paint on their own. The robot can be programmed to follow certain patterns and create art.