Wednesday, February 17 is Digital Learning Day.

Digital Learning Day was started as a way to actively spread innovative practices to ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities. It is more than just one day; it is an ongoing campaign to ensure that EVERY child gets the best possible education in today’s world economy and global society.

IMG_1783Digital Learning at Camp Fire 

We regularly invest in STEM education, including with our youngest students. At Sunnyside Environmental’s Before and After School program, Site Instructor Ciarra D’Onofrio oversees the innovative Lego Animation Club.

Ciarra knew that she wanted to host a club where students could work on one project over a longer period of time, rather than starting and finishing projects each session. The original plan was to do a claymation video, but she then remembered how much our students already love Legos. Ciarra thought it would be great to take something that they are already familiar with and passionate about and push it to the next level. Our first club meeting focused on learning about the moon (how old it is, how it was formed, its geological structure etc.), after which we began to write our script.

Students used the following questions to craft their story and set. The goal was to create one movie that the whole group worked to create:

·         What would life be like if we lived on the moon?
·         What would our houses be like if we lived on the moon?
·         What type of pets would we have if we lived on the moon?
·         Who would our neighbors be if we lived on the moon?
·         What would we use for transportation if we lived on the moon?
·         What would we wear (clothes/fashion) if we lived on the moon?
·         What would we eat and drink if we lived on the moon?

In small groups, students worked on a different scene and different set parts for their movie. In their groups, the students next made story boards for their scene and designed their sets. Ciarra helped with filming and now the students are working on finishing their last scenes and piecing the whole film together. The reaction to the club was one of excitement!

The older students were really excited to have a club that focused on something they already loved (Legos), that was designed just for them, and also involved technology. One of the most inspiring parts of this experience was watching students who have been more resistant to opt into this club, and become engaged with the opportunity of digital learning and Legos!