Bots For Cows

This week our school is raising Money for Heifer International. I am not sure how this goes in other schools but when student council has a fundraiser for an organization you collect money in your first hour class and turn that money in at the end of the week. Then the student council takes the dollars raised by your class and divides by the number of students and that first hour class gets breakfast. In seventeen years of teaching my first hour class has never won. The main reason for that is that for about ten years the idea of competition for fund raising repulsed me. I am less hoity toity now, so game on.

When we got the email about the fund raiser I forwarded it to my students with an email saying, we are going to win this. I had no plan. I Wednesday I asked the Holy Spirit into our class here is the result.

Right now we are building simple bots in class. This is inquiry for our DC Circuit unit. As I have been trying standards based grading this year I have looked for ways for students to totally control demonstrations of learning. So the simple bot project has them build a bot, and demonstrate with modifications to the bot any standards that they feel they know but have not gotten credit for. I like quite a bit how this final challenge of a unit has works out.

Wednesday when I looked around and asked the students how we could fund raise, the conversation led to auctioning off our bots to buy cows for people that need them. Here is the very quick Google site that my students put together to show off what they have learned and what their bots can do. Watch the movies, there is at least one funny one. Suggested donation is $100. If you want to give more or less add a comment to the page and I or a student will contact you. The bots are in some sense worth $3. But the learning and excitement in first hour has been priceless. It has been some of the funnest conversations of the year. And the worst thing that could happen is my kids have been excited about the donating and have given deeply out of their own pockets.