Upcoming Conference Presentations

21st century skills coding stem education Sep 29, 2022

Excalibur STEM has two upcoming presentations at the New Jersey Science Convention and the Georgia Department of Education STEM/STEAM Forum. Educators in New Jersey will hear from our Director of Elementary Programs, Lauren Seibert, about cross-curricular coding applications in the elementary grades. Founder, Robert Walsh, will present in Georgia about using game development to teach advanced math concepts in middle and high school grades. 

Cross-Curricular Coding in the Elementary Grades

When we think about STEM programs in schools, often we have the knowledge to engage students in problem-solving skills involving math and science. Students tend to lack greater exposure to coding and technology, and while these may be taught, they are often taught as an individualized subject. 

This presentation will provide educators with opportunities to include coding throughout all areas of curricula. Teachers will have a chance to practice hands-on block-coding in programs like Scratch, MakeCode, and Tinkercad.

At the end of the session, teachers will walk away with a ready-to-implement lesson plan that connects coding with another subject area, as well as ideas to continue to implement this type of learning in their classrooms throughout the school year.

Lauren looks forward to helping educators enliven their STEM content and provide students with more significant opportunities to engage in computer programming.


Applying Math Concepts Through Video Game Development

What can creating a video game teach students about math? Quite a lot, actually. Today’s video games have become so realistic that, at a glance, one may think they are live-action television. Development environments like Unity and GameMaker Studio handle much of the heavy lifting when it comes to the mathematical calculations necessary to move the in-game objects, do the intense graphical rendering (also based on math), and apply physical laws like gravity and inertia.

However, with a less complex environment like Scratch, students must do this work for themselves. Even relatively simple games can reinforce concepts like inequalities, fractions and decimals, geometric transformations, and the x-y coordinate plane. More advanced concepts like vectors and trigonometry are sometimes necessary to calculate trajectories based on velocity or the new position of an object at a given distance and direction from a reference point.

Robert Walsh, Founder of the Excalibur Solutions STEM Academy, will be giving a presentation at the Georgia Department of Education STEM/STEAM Forum on how coding video games in Scratch can help students learn or practice many different math concepts. The conference is October 24-25 at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia. Robert’s presentation is scheduled for Monday, October 24, at 3:30 pm. Excalibur STEM will also have a booth in the exhibit areas!


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