Project Lead the Way
What if there was a class driven by a quest for innovation? Where you learned not only how things worked, but how you might make them work better. Where the biggest challenge was between You and Your imagination. What if that classroom was incorporated into NCA?!
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a key leader in providing rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used across the U.S. Students will have the opportunity to create, design and build projects like robots and cars; applying what they are learning in math and science to the world’s challenges. To learn more about PLTW, visit their website at: http://www.pltw.org.
NCA teaches four different units per grade level in PLTW.
“We get to learn about new technology and how things work. It is fun!” Gage Karas
Structure and Function Students discover the design process and how engineers influence their lives. In small groups, students design, build, and test a paintbrush out of available materials to withstand force. Then, the students use the design process to sketch, build, test, and reflect on improved paintbrush design.
Light and Sound Students investigate light and sound waves including vibration from sound waves and the effect of different materials on the path of a beam of light. The students use the design process to sketch, build, test, and reflect on a device that uses light or sound to communicate over a distance.
Materials Science: Properties of Matter Students investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties. After testing materials and analyzing the data, the students determine the best material to solve a design problem.
Stability and Motion: Science of Flight Students are introduced to how aircraft vehicles fly while investigating the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Students develop an understanding of how engineers work and are introduced to aspects of the aerospace engineering field. Students also learn sketching techniques, discover computer aided design, and use basic descriptive geometry as a component of design and measurement to model their solutions. Using an engineering notebook and other forms of documentation, students document the process by which the design models and solve problems.
Energy: Conservation Utilizing mobile robotics and building on their prior experience, students design, model, test, and refine a device that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. The students explore engineering careers that involve energy conservation and mechanical design.
Robotics and Automation Students explore ways that robots are used in today’s world and the impact of their use on society and the environment. Students learn about a variety of components to build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely.
Three award winning Robogator teams represent NCA at the First LEGO League competitions each year. Three Junior Robogator teams learn to build, program EV3’s, and solve real world problems from mentors, coaches, and FLL Jr.
Northshore Christian Academy has a thriving robotics program: 3 award winning middle school Robogator teams and 3 Junior Robogator teams. Our teams compete via the First Lego League and Jr. First Lego League. Each team has two coaches guiding the students through the process of Core Values development as a team, project selection and presentation, and designing, building and programming an EV3 robot. Students work with professionals in the field of study for that year to learn more about current solutions. Teams also give back to the community in various ways.
The yellow team was invited this year by FLL to collect volunteers from the Amazon employees by sharing the opportunity students get by being in Robotics.
North American Open Championship
The blue team was invited to compete in the 2018 North American Open Championship in LEGO Land. They received the Inspiration Award out of 79 teams.
Students in grades second through fourth can apply to participate in Junior Robogators. Our teams meet once a week after school to work on core values, project, and programming.
Year long middle school club where students build a go cart learn how to design and print using a 3D printer.
Club Coach: Mr. Jonathan Bloedow
The Middle School Engineering Club is a program for a dozen middle school students that is a year-long. They meet once a week for 3 hours. They are taught a wide range of engineering skills including programming robots and microcontrollers, 3D printer design & construction, basic electronics, computer-aided design, and fabrication using plastic, metal, and wood. These skills will ultimately be used towards a single large-scale team project.
Students learn how to program beyond drag-and-drop programming, including with Java, Python, and C-style languages. They also learn how to design an algorithm for solving a maze, and then turn that algorithm into code in these various languages.
In addition to Mindstorm EV3 and NXT, the students get to use the Scribbler, Pololu, Arduino-based mBot, and Sphero.
Students learn how to program Arduinos, reading various analog and digital sensors, control LEDs, servos, and motors using simple electronics like transistors and resistors. Multimeters, logic probes, and oscilloscopes are used to understand and diagnose circuits.
Students learn how to design using CAD software, and manufacture their parts with a 3-D printer, as well as other fabrication techniques.
With an ever changing world driven by continual technological advancements equipping our students with a firm foundation in technology education is essential. Our students are taught proper typing techniques, with lots of practice resulting in sharpened accuracy and speed. We ensure our students are grounded with a Bible-based, Christian perspective. The focus of computers in fifth grade is to touch on computer ethics from a Christian perspective and to develop problem solving techniques. Typing skills will be practiced throughout the semester. This course covers a variety of software applications and introduces students to Microsoft Office 2010 (Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Publisher 2010, OneNote 2010, and Excel 2010). Students will use these software applications for special assignments in their core subjects such as English, history, and science.
Technology and Engineering
The world needs engineers. And cultivating an interest in technology and engineering at an early age can help bridge the growing gap. Technology Education gives you the tools you need to engage and inspire in middle school with real-world engineering challenges. From coming up with a disruptive idea to developing a working prototype, you’ll develop problem solving abilities with critical thinking and creativity skills.
We will be exploring coding with various tools to help students learn the logic and problem solving skills needed to code.
Game & Web Design
Web/Game Design provides students with the skills necessary to plan and create web sites using Expression Design and Web. This challenging class is designed for students who have some initial interest in game programming.