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Ohio County Students Learning Through Technology During “Innovation Showcase”

Ohio County students show stuff during “Innovation Showcase”

Photos by Joselyn King ABOVE: Ohio County Schools Innovation Coordinator JoJo Shay, second from right, views an I-Movie produced by West Liberty Elementary School fourth grade students Grace Klein, Bella Sayre and Shia Conway.

WHEELING — Ohio County’s elementary school students are rapping about the original 13 U.S. colonies in a video they have produced, creating books that tell of the earth’s geographic features, and using 3-D printers to create game pieces that explain science concepts.

Technology is all part of a day’s learning now in Ohio County Schools, and students and teachers this week showed off what is being created and learned through new education tools available to them. The “Innovation Showcase” took place in Wheeling Park High School’s media center, with participants from all grade levels telling the public about their projects.

“There are lots of little kids here talking to adults,” said JoJo Shay, innovation coordinator for Ohio County Schools. “Isn’t that wonderful?”

The technology starts at the youngest level, with kindergarten students using small plastic “Bee-bots” to learn the basic principles of computer coding and counting.

Three pushes on the left arrow on the bee’s back makes it move three spots to the left, and students can use the directional arrows to program the bee and solve math problems, explained Steenrod Elementary teacher Jenn Schmitt.

Cheyenne Kaminski, a third grade student at Madison Elementary, used Google’s “Book Creator” tool to make her own mini-book describing different geographic features found throughout the world.

“I learned facts about the seas, harbors, oceans and the desert — and a lot about video editing,” she said.

Kaminski was asked if the editing was hard to do?

“It’s pretty easy,” she said.

West Liberty Elementary School fourth grade students Grace Klein, left, Bella Sayre and Shia Conway played for visitors on their tablets their I-Movie “Rockin’ The Colonies,” their rock video telling about America’s original 13 colonies.

Sayre was the singer out front in the video, with Conway saying she enjoys acting and Klein saying she was more at home playing softball.

Wheeling Middle School teacher Zak Klemm showed the school’s 3D printer, which he used to print out the skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex to show students.

One of the students, seventh-grader Jason Kiziminski, displayed game pieces depicting science concepts that were created by the printer, and used in classroom discussion.

“It makes class fun and interesting, and it attracts my attention,” he said.

Once the students get to high school, they look to start marketing what they produce.

Chris Harden, Wheeling Park High School teacher and technical integration specialist, oversees “The Market At Park” initiative. Students create items in an area designated within the school’s media center, using a 3D printer, laser cutter, heat press and vinyl cutters.

The lighted glass blocks they make have been selling well, and proceeds made from items sold are put toward “mini grants” to teachers wanting to do technology projects in their classrooms.

The WPHS financial algebra students do the accounting for program, while an English class answers the emails from those wanting to purchase items.

“The kids like coming and doing things,” Harden said. “It has really taken off.”

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