Tech

Taking Tech to New Heights

Applications for technology enrich the learning environment at Pinewood as our teachers actively pursue new strategies for creating a vital, innovative, and engaging learning environment.

Through our 1:1 iPad program, technology use deepens understanding and expands course content as students explore topics from varied perspectives and create, curate, collaborate and share ideas. Computer science and design thinking curriculum is part of our K-12 journey, equipping students to become responsible members of our global digital community.

We embrace our responsibility to educate our students to be life-long learners as well as safe and responsible digital citizens. The role that critical thinking skills and technology play in that success is extremely important.

OUR K-6 MISSION FOR INNOVATION

We utilize technology only when doing so elevates the learning experience for our students as well as the effectiveness of our teachers. We believe that coding, design, and engineering skills are all fundamental aspects of a 21st century education and necessary in almost every career path our students may take.

Our K-6 program is designed to scaffold over a seven- year path to help our students build a solid foundation and comfort level in coding and design/engineering, and–if a passion is discovered–to develop and explore it further.

KINDERGARTEN

With an emphasis on teaching the basic underlying principles of coding, we utilize KIBO robots to illustrate some of these early concepts. These robots allow for programming without screens, which we attempt to minimize at the early grade levels. Coding instruction takes place about once a month in kindergarten classes.

FIRST AND SECOND GRADE

1st and 2nd graders focus on block-based coding in their math enrichment classes. Students utilize Scratch Jr., Code.org, and Ozoblockly to program using block-based languages. In addition to this, they work on early design and engineering skills with our Mobile Maker Carts. Coding instruction takes place twice a month in these grades and maker education lessons once per year in each core subject area.

THIRD THROUGH SIXTH GRADE

Starting in the 3rd grade, students have dedicated weekly Coding and Design/Engineering courses. Students focus on block-based programming using Scratch, Swift, and Ozoblockly, as well as develop valuable skills utilizing the design thinking process, basic mechanical tools, CAD, 3D printing, and laser cutting. In the coming years, we expect to be progressing to text-based programming languages such as python.

THE CULMINATING DESIGN PROJECT

Students work from grades K to 6 to build skills in coding as well as design and engineering. Using the design thinking process, 5th and 6th graders spend the final ten weeks of their Design/Engineering class to complete a build project that merges these fields together and solves a real-world problem for the greater Pinewood community.

Last year’s projects included accessories for lockers and whiteboards, signage for classroom doors, items to give to shadowing students, and stylus holders/chargers for the iPad stations.

EXPANDING SKILLS AND PASSIONS

Our core programs lay foundations for all of our students to build upon as they move up through the grades at Pinewood, as well as off to college and their careers.

For those who want to dive deeper and expand their passions, we offer an abundance of clubs and competition opportunities at the K-6 level:

  • Creating with Kibo Robots (K-2)
  • Little Maker Club (1-2)
  • Middle Maker Club (3-4)
  • Advanced Maker Club (5-6)
  • Introductory Robotics (3-4)
  • VEX Robotics Club/Competition (5-6)
  • Tech Challenge Competition (4-6)

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iMaginarium Makerspace

Our iMaginarium serves many student learning objectives on our Middle Campus. It functions as a computer lab, with the latest and greatest MacBook Pros for students to use on digital projects, but also serves as our makerspace, where they can imagine and design to their heart's content using a number of tools, 3D printers, a laser cutter, electronics, and craft supplies. The room also serves as our campus library nook, where students can check out books, or just relax and read. The space was designed to be flexible and promote creativity. With the exception of a flat-panel display and a four-foot-wide LEGO wall, the entire front of the room is one huge white board where students meet to brainstorm, imagine, and collaborate.

“Pinewood is the best place to prepare young talent for the 21st century – to live, learn, and work.”
– Pinewood Parent

Individualized Paths, Communal Support

Students at Pinewood are encouraged to inquire, engage, and be aspirational. These six seniors represent an entire class of graduates who exemplify that truth.

Make it Better

Students add value to their own campus by designing and engineering items of need