Students Light Up for Innovation

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Berry Hill Elementary School fourth-graders have been participating in a unique pilot project that has them shedding light on the wonder of electricity. As an extension to their unit on the subject, students are designing and constructing miniature flashlights as an enrichment project, during their library-computer period using Tinkercad, an online computer-aided design program.  

Once the students have finished their designs, their flashlights will be printed on the school’s 3D printer. Once the housing for the flashlight is printed, students will use a battery and lightbulb to wire a circuit that fits into the housing so they will have their own, operational self-made, keychain-sized flashlight.

The Berry Hill flashlight project is one of several innovative projects being piloted in the district this year by the IDEA technology workgroup. The workgroup is comprised of teachers, administrators, parents and students whose focus is to identify technology projects that will interest, engage and inspire students to use digital tools to invent and spur creativity.

“This joint effort between our fourth grade teachers, our librarian and myself has been a chance for students to follow the design process from idea to fruition,” said Berry Hill enrichment teacher Mary Kolkhorst, who is a member of the IDEA group. “They have the unique opportunity to apply the knowledge gained throughout the unit of study to create a working reminder of what they learned.”