Cook Middle School teacher Brian VanMiddendorp (left) and Cook seventh-grade students Danitza Lopez (center) and Malik Stone (black top) ready a laser engraver to produce identification cards for guests during the 10th annual CFISD Student Technology Festival on April 11 at the Berry Center. A total of 3,750 participants and festival visitors took part in the districtwide celebration of student technology projects and curriculum offerings. Students demonstrated devices, software and programs to help solve problems and simulated collaboration inside and outside the classroom.
April 23, 2019—A total of 3,750 participants and guests visited the Berry Center on April 11 for the 10th annual CFISD Student Technology Festival, Shifting Gears.
The districtwide celebration of student technology projects and curriculum offerings featured approximately 1,000 students in grades pre-K through 12 showcasing the use of technology in the classroom. Students demonstrated devices, software and programs to help solve problems, simulated collaboration inside and outside the classroom and modeled products they created using technology.
Warner Elementary School students (from left) Olivia Ma, Nissa Varghese and Sadhi Palkamshetty look at a presentation during 10th annual CFISD Student Technology Festival on April 11 at the Berry Center. The event featured technology projects and curriculum offerings with approximately 1,000 students in grades pre-K through 12 showcasing the use of technology in the classroom.
The festival continued featuring the ever-evolving technology inside the classroom. That included numerous career and technical education (CTE) options available in CFISD such as automotive technology, engineering education and fashion design. It also included Bee Bots, a bumblebee-looking robot that maneuvers around an activity mat after it’s programmed through coding. Pre-K students and other younger participants showed the bots on mats that help teach shapes, letters and numbers, as well as others used to tell stories.
One section of the arena featured industrial technology, where students demonstrated a robotic arm, milling machine, lathe, 3D printer and laser engraver. Cook Middle School teacher Brian VanMiddendorp and seventh-grade students Danitza Lopez and Malik Stone demonstrated the laser engraver and made 125 identification tags for guests.
“Both students helped explain how the station worked,” VanMiddendorp said. “Other projects were on display for the audience to see more of the capability of the laser engraver. Upon the completion of the last dog tag, the students reflected on this event and both indicated how much work it was and how much fun they had.”
Cypress Springs High School health science students visit with CFISD Technology Festival visitors and show how to use Cyber-Anatomy’s 3D medical education software, which allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of human anatomy within a lifelike environment.
The campuses were spread throughout the Berry Center arena and conference center, with schools arranged in clusters and feeder patterns. In the atrium, stations included computer science, education and training, child development, video technology and health science.
Members of the CFISD technology team were on hand at a table near the entrance to offer information and answer questions for students, families and visitors on cyber security.
“Watching this event grow from the commons at Cypress Ridge with less than 100 students to using the Berry Center arena, atrium and conference center with approximately 1,000 students showcasing classroom technology has been amazing,” said Becky Cook, director of instructional technology. “Students at this year’s Technology Festival showcased software products such as ActivInspire, EquatIO, Flipgrid and more, as well as robotics, 3D ZSpace monitors, Promethean Panels and various other kinds of technology hardware. To see the look on students’ faces as they shared what makes them excited about using technology was incredible.
Robots of all sizes were on display at the 10th annual CFISD Technology Festival, with visitors given the opportunity to control Vex Robots.
“Parents and community members also have the opportunity to see what opportunities are available to students as they progress from elementary school to high school. The event is a way to showcase exciting learning opportunities that are available to students in CFISD.”
Bee Bots were among the many exhibits on display, with students as young as four years old programming the bots through coding and programming to move across activity mats, as while learning shapes, letters and numbers in addition to coding, language and social skills they’re attaining while working with others.