Class Acts: A Peek into Cannon’s Classrooms

In 2015, The Cupola—Cannon School’s weekly e-mail newsletter—will be featuring a new section called Class Acts. This will highlight some of the amazing things that happen in our classrooms on a day-to-day basis. Is there something that you think is noteworthy and should be highlighted? E-mail Amy Reiss,  marketing and communications manager.

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Mr. Powers and ExploraVision

Imagine what life would be like if there was an app that could calm kids headed to the doctor. What about a car that can apply its own brakes when it veers into a ditch? Or an alert system that will stop an impaired driver from operating his/her car? Next, picture how comforted parents would be knowing their children could wear a wrist device that would alert them if there was trouble.

Sound like fantasy? Not to a team of fourteen third-grade students at Cannon. Each one works with Science Lab teacher Brandon Powers to conceptualize ideas and put together a plan that would bring them to fruition. It’s all part of the Toshiba-sponsored ExploraVision program that Mr. Powers has piloted. This science-based competition has students working in small groups to research a current technology, envision what it would look like in twenty years, and describe the development steps. Students gain an understanding of the pros, cons, and obstacles that their invention might encounter along the way.

The third-grade students arrived at the four projects listed above after whittling down hundreds of possible ideas. At the end of the month, Mr. Powers will submit the presentation papers as part of the ExploraVision competition. Although most of the time is spent researching and writing down their concepts in a seven-section paper, the students have also thoroughly enjoyed building prototypes.

“The biggest positive for me has been to see the students just jump right in with so many ideas for change,” said Mr. Powers. We’ll stay tuned to see the results of the competition!