News Archive

Posted 10/25/2018 03:39PM

Bringing Computer Science to Life!

New elementary club focuses on fun, interactive learning systems

Ask any elementary school student to name one of his or her favorite things in the new lower school DREAM Lab and you are sure to hear all about the LUMOPlay system located in the Illumination Room. LUMOPlay is software that turns any digital display, from TVs and flatscreens to projectors, into an interactive experience. At CDS, LUMOPlay is projected onto the floor, and students can interact with the software to play math and reading games or just have fun during indoor recess.

Recently, Lower School Innovation Specialist Tanya Layton reached out to fourth and fifth grade teachers to ask for student volunteers interested in computer science and game design. The group will meet once a week during recess and on an as-needed basis.  At their initial meeting last week, the students Skyped with Meghan Athavale, an entrepreneur, artist and the co-founder of LUMOPlay. Ms. Athavale gave the students a brief explanation of her background in coding, then gave them a tour of the website and taught them how to use Motion Maker Templates. Because the students expressed an interest in designing their own LUMOPlay games, she walked them through the process, discussing background, foreground, masks and overlays, and particles.

Eager to get started, the fifth grade members of the computer science club met this week with Mrs. Layton during recess.  Each student was given a Chromebook and logged on to LUMOPlay, where they could navigate the website on their own. After choosing their own templates and exploring all the elements presented during the Skype session, the students decided to create separate group chats among themselves, based on game designs. As one student said, “If I have the same interest as someone else in the group, we'll work on designing a game together."  With the group chats created, students will be able to access the game templates at home or as enrichment, in class.   Stay tuned to see what these computer scientists come up with next!

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