Lighting the way to a solar STEAM project

This week’s blog kindly supplied by Mr Jonathan Nadler: St Peters Digital Learning Coach 

Two boys from Year 5 (Junior High) have become the first St Peters students to use a 'pixel kit' to code a digital animation — all as part of their recent Solar System unit. While some students in the class created models or videos as their projects, Josh and Steven took up the challenge from their teacher Ms Hannan to unbox and teach themselves the KANO Pixel Kit. It’s a small computer board featuring 128 individual and programmable LED lights capable of displaying up to 16 million colours. 

While they were a little hesitant at first, after examining the parts and reading through the manual, the boys had soon successfully assembled and activated the kit. From there they accessed the accompanying coding software and explored how it worked. This gave them the platform to take what they had learnt and create something amazing. 

In less than one hour the boys had taken turns mapping out animated scenes of the Sun — and got it up and running on the Pixel Kit. They also contributed narration to a video recorded by St Peters ICT Trainer Mr Nalder showing the whole process in 90 seconds.

This was a great chance for the boys to build up their confidence as pioneers and to show off their work to class and the whole school community. Other benefits for students include the chance to build up a whole range of curriculum and future employability skills, such as:

  • demonstrating their self-teaching skills
  • practicing voice-over communication skills
  • applying their coding and digital literacy skills to the class unit (Solar System).

The KANO kit is part of an Australia-wide STEAM Learning Project (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) supported by Mr Nalder that has seen iWorld Australia supply $20k worth of technology to students and schools. This will help find out what best practice in future-ready learning looks like. Well done Josh and Steven — other students will now be learning from you. Thank you to Ms Hannan for her support.