Technology Beyond the Classroom
Almaden Country School is in the heart of Silicon Valley, and it shows. Technology is woven into every classroom, at every grade -- iPads, laptops, electronic whiteboards, Imaginarium visits, document cameras, probeware, and more.
There are numerous technology offerings outside the classroom as well , including after-school robotics programs, our first-of-its-kind App Fair, and the STEAM Engineering and Design Fair. Students at ACS become technologically literate; yet the magic of ACS is not in our devices. We believe technology is just one more tool teachers can use to extend learning.
First Lego League
First Lego League (FLL) Robotics is an after-school parent-led activity for 4th-8th grade students who are interested in computer programming, Lego robotics, and competing with a team. The FLL season is in the fall culminating in a series of competitions beginning in November.
FIRST LEGO League teams get to:
- Research challenges facing today’s scientists
- Design, build, test and program robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology
- Apply real-world math and science concepts
- Learn critical thinking, team-building, and presentation skills
- Participate in tournaments and celebrations
- Understand and practice Gracious Professionalism®
Generally, teams get together twice a week after school to work on their robot and research presentations.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code Club promotes computer science education with 6th-8th grade girls. The Club nurtures and supports the girls' interest in engineering and computer science.
The Girls Who Code Club experience features:
- Skill-building — Forty hours of instruction in computer science including project-based activities to reinforce concepts like conditionals, lists, and loops as well as skills like mobile app development.
- Exposure — Girls Who Code Clubs host speakers, coordinate field trips, and engage with the local tech community. Girls Who Code facilitates exclusive connections where possible, providing unique opportunities to Club participants.
- Community — As Club participants, girls have access to a supportive and engaged network of teachers, mentors, professionals, and fellow students.
- Generally, girls will get together once a week after school with volunteer parents and staff support.
Imaginarium and MakerSpace Club
The Imaginarium is open during lunches and after school for students and student teams to work on their projects. The MakerSpace Club meets weekly to contribute to the Imaginarium through tech-oriented service – building storage units, repairing 3D printers, and diagnosing problems with Imaginarium tools and technology.
The ACS App Fair
The annual ACS App Fair, a first-of-its-kind event originating at Almaden Country School in 2013, is held each spring and features dozens of young scientists proudly displaying their work.
The App Fair is designed to showcase elementary and middle school students’ latest creations using technology platforms such as Lego Mindstorms, Tynker, Minecraft, and more.
Each year the App Fair theme adapts to address the trends in technology as well as the individual interest of student participants. Interested parents sometimes participate too!
STEAM Engineering and Design Fair
ACS turned the traditional science fair — where students worked individually, at home, to create projects often replicated from science fair websites, and often requiring considerable parent help — into an exciting, team-based design learning experience. In the STEAM Fair, student teams work collaboratively to solve real-world design challenges, and then display their results across campus during an afternoon showcase.
From designing cane toad traps to stem the spread of this invasive species, to developing a shock-proof airlift container to supply food to flooded Thai villages, our STEAM Engineering and Design Fair turns a tedious and solitary science fair experience into a chance for our students to develop teamwork, curiosity, creativity, and resilience — thinking like scientists and having fun doing science. It's a must-see event each year.