By Amy Farkas
The 18th Annual Student Technology Showcase (STS) at the Capitol is a daylong event held in the Michigan State Capitol Building to allow lawmakers, business leaders and other citizens to see first-hand how technology is used in classrooms across Michigan. K-12 student teams representing their schools from around the state were able to demonstrate best practices of how technology can enhance teaching and learning for the success of Michigan students.
This year, four 8th-graders from Seitz Middle School traveled to the Capitol with their STEM teacher, Ms. Amy Farkas.
The Farkas STEM 8th graders presented and taught about Virtual and Augmented Reality, as well as Neuroscience.
Seitz Middle School students used CoSpaces Virtual Reality Creation Platform to teach about how to create their own virtual worlds.
Their capstone project involved creating a world around a famous inventor, either depicting them in their everyday life, showing them interacting with their invention or creating a timeline of their life in a museum style format.
Students were then able to learn about each other’s inventors by looking at each one in virtual reality and navigating it with VR goggles or in 3D mode on a device. Senators and Representatives were invited to join us as we explored the world of creating our own virtual reality! Our VR & AR student experts were Jacob Datema & Lily Paschke.
Seitz students also embarked on a tremendous adventure to learn more about Neuroscience using kits purchased from Ann Arbor based company Backyard Brains. Students decided to make Neuroscience a part of our curriculum because through research, they learned that every single one of them knew someone in their life that was affected by a neurological disorder, and as of now, they are no cures for any brain based disorders. Students were able to “see” their neurons firing, “hear” their neurons as they communicated to their brains and even control each other’s nerves! They took these kits to the Student Technology Showcase and were able to teach Neuroscience to all who were interested. Our Neuroscience experts were Connor Felice and Ellie Kulick.
The students did an amazing job showcasing their technology, and we spent a good amount of time with Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood explaining their passion for these STEM disciplines.