CS from Scratch

Math encourages rigorous thinking. Literature teaches empathy. Arts and music inspire imagination and creativity. What about computer science? Computer science is not just about coding; it is the art of communicating between humans and machines.

For the Fall of 2018, our team introduced computer science to 2nd graders at George Watts Montessori Elementary School. In this series of lessons, students learned basic computer science concepts by participating in engaging hands-on activities. These activities prepared for programming using an online, free programming language called Scratch. The goal of these lessons was to use programming as a medium to teach problem-solving and creative thinking.

Diving into Technology Hands First

During the Spring 2018 semester, we led a Technology Immersion Club at Morehead Montessori Elementary School.

They explored different technologies including green screens, stop motion animation, and 360 video with 2nd and 3rd graders. Students worked individually and collaboratively on a variety of multimedia video projects.

Check out the students’ creations here!

E.K. Powe Podcast Club

In the of Fall of 2017, we led a Podcast Club at E.K. Powe Elementary School. In addition to listening to different genres of podcasts, the 4th and 5th grade students had the chance to create podcasts of their very own. Over the course of the club, they gained hands on experience in audio editing, digital music composition, and storytelling.

Listen to their podcasts here!

Changing Perspectives Durham

During the Spring 2017 semester, we are conducting a Duke course for both Duke students and Durham Public School High School students. Using 27 Views of Durham as a guidethis course explores Durham from a myriad of perspectives through speakers, readings and discussions. 

The course is focused on viewing Durham and its history through specific lenses – what does the history of Durham, and Durham today, look like from the perspective of various communities? In order to explore this question, we have invited Steve Schewel, Pierce Freelon, John Burness, Shirlette Ammons and other Durham figures to share their experiences and thoughts with the class.

In addition, students are learning how to capture these perspectives using photography, audio, video and text. They will add their work to our GIS-based mobile app, Duke Explore, as part of the Literary Walking Tour of Durham. The tour will be published at the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

OLLI Service Learning Course: Bring a Book to Life 

For the Fall 2016 semester, we taught the first service-learning OLLI course!

We worked with retirees and 2nd graders at E.K. Powe Elementary School.

Together, they explored a stop motion animation and a comic book generating application on iPad.

The students (both retirees and 2nd graders) read books together and then brought them to life using the techniques they learned.

Watch our promotional video!