Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pinecrest Students Decide Who We Can Trust in 2016

March 22nd, 2016


The 2016 presidential election season is in full swing. It is at the forefront of the news and our students’ minds. Accusations are flying freely  and the decorum of the candidates is as low as we have seen since the 1830’s.

Shawna Farbotnik and Emma Robinson, both Civics and Economics teachers at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, wanted their students to critically analyze the claims of the candidates. Using the site, Politifact as a model, Shawna, Emma and I created a lesson that required students to identify six specific claims by one of the candidates, search for confirming or conflicting evidence using only reputable sources, and then present their work in front of a green screen.

The kids did a great job with their claims and research. The green screen work and editing threw us for a loop but they turned out well and we’ll know how to do a little better next time. Here is the link to our work, the lesson plan, and our rubric. As with all things, these are works in progress. Feel free to use in your room and if you figure something out send us the tip!


Will Herring
Digital Integration Facilitator

Kiwanis Club Support of Moore County Schools

   The Kiwanis Club is a global organization of volunteers that are dedicated to improving the lives of children and communities they live in. On March 16, 2016 Moore County Schools was invited to attend a luncheon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of North Carolina. At this lunch, students from Aberdeen Elementary, West Pine Middle, and Pinecrest High School were in attendance. Each of the schools showcased ways in which robotics and STEM initiatives are being implemented in the county. The students did an outstanding job and the Kiwanis members were so eager to watch the kids present.
   Students from Aberdeen Elementary shared their knowledge of the Lego WeDo kits. These kits are comprised of legos, motors, and programming software. Each kit has twelve different build options and correlates to content standards. Students are intrigued by using the WeDo kits and it gives them a taste of the engineering design process. In addition, teamwork, task analysis, and complex problem solving are skills embedded within the kits. Under the leadership of Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips at Aberdeen Elementary, her students were able to showcase how they used these kits to reinforce their learning of sequencing. 

   West Pine Middle School had two items they demonstrated at the event. One was the Lego EV3 robots, that will be featured at the Moore County School Robotics Competitions on May 6 and May 11, 2016. The other was the infamous blue robot called Dash! Both robots have been pivotal in teachers' ability to teach coding and reinforce STEM topics in the county this year.  With the help of the Kiwanis Club, we are able to hold two robotics competitions this year.  In addition, all schools in Moore County now have at least 2 EV3 robots. The support given to our county from the Kiwanis Club has been remarkable and we will be forever grateful. 

   Students from Pinecrest High School showcased an FTC (First Tech Challenge) robot they built. These robots are built from the TETRIX construction set and are run by two Android devices. These teams can compete at the state level and their builds are complex. All three high schools and New Century Middle, have already competed at the FTC regional robotics qualifier and did amazing! We are eager to see how our high school teams continue to grow! Kiwanis Club members were not only shown what students are doing in MCS, but also how the progression of robotics works in the county. Our goal is over the next couple years, to build strong high school robotics teams that grew out of our Lego WeDo and Lego EV3 initiatives. 

   We are so fortunate to work with such a special group of volunteers that supports the work we do in MCS. We thank them for their hospitality, delicious lunch, and warm invite. We sincerely appreciate all you do for Moore County and our students flourish because of you!

~Deanna Boesch