In Stage 3, students may use computational thinking skills much more overtly through online games, programming and modelling. They can use coding in all learning areas. The teacher helps students to make links between computational thinking and relevant content. For example, in Creative Arts the teacher can point out that music is a language of code. MIDI format and musical notes are a series of instructions that, when followed, create a solution. This is programming.
- write a narrative, then:
- work together to create a wiki in Google Docs using gaming and online terminology that is not found in the dictionary, eg griefing, lol, fomo, emoticons
- create a ‘choose your own adventure’ story using Google Docs and hyperlinks.
- use visual programming (eg using Scratch) to draw polygons – discuss acute, obtuse and reflex angles
- discuss coordinates and number lines using Pencil Code – draw pictures that require the turtle to jump to specific locations
- create a simple program with a score (eg using Scratch), then change positions of place values of scores and observe the results
- run some circle geometry activities on 22 July (Pi Day), eg measure the circumference and the radius or diameter of a circle and calculate pi – discuss the need for accuracy
- program robots (eg Bee-Bots or WeDo (Lego)) to draw 2D shapes or to navigate an obstacle course
- explore the use of repeated addition to count in practical situations, eg create an algorithm (procedure) to count the number of people in a room using simple algebra as shown in the YouTube clip What's an algorithm? by David J Malan.
Science and Technology
- calculate the distances in the solar system and scale them so that the whole solar system fits into 100 metres – use a solar system scale calculator
- collect data using online forms such as Google Forms and analyse using formulas and charts, such as those in Google Spreadsheets
- develop a design idea such as a simple machine using 3D modelling in apps such as Autodesk 123D, Solid Edge or PTC Creo
- use computer aided design (CAD) software to model and simulate machines
- draw circuits using Circuit Scribe pens
- create basic circuits using littleBits or online using Autodesk 123D Circuits
- use the Night Sky app or SkyView to select a constellation, then model this using Turtle Academy
- model a built environment in MinecraftEdu or a 3D modelling program such as Autodesk 123D
- use spreadsheets to design solutions to problems
- use squishy circuits to investigate circuits and create a game – there are numerous sites outlining circuit construction projects, including The Tinkering Studio
- participate in competitions offered by the REA Foundation, such as F1 or Subs in Schools
- create an emergency plan for surviving a bushfire, including what to pack and an escape route.
- build models that have simple electric circuits to control lights or sounds – there are numerous sites outlining circuit construction projects, including The Tinkering Studio and littleBits
- develop programs that create compositions using Scratch
- design a light (Visual Arts) or sound (Music) show for a school creative arts festival using programmable mini-computers – see Resources
- create stencils and prints using drawing software and laser/vinyl cutters
- use painting software such as ArtRage
- program tessellations using Turtle Academy – view resources on tessellation in websites such as Math Is Fun (US)
- create simple compositions using GarageBand or Audacity
- create objects to generate musical compositions – see the Music & Sound section of Google CS First
- view websites, such as Tech As Art, which explore the interaction between technology and art
- use Vidcode to create a video story
- download the National Gallery of Art (US) app for iPad, Art Zone, to view and manipulate classic works of art.
Physical Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
- create games using Scratch, Kodu or Sploder to role-play PDHPE scenarios
- design a training schedule, then create an exercise music mix for it – use a website/app such as MyFitnessPal or Google Fit and search the iTunes site for tips on how to create a playlist
- use health applications to track and then graph student data over time
- use a spreadsheet to collect student data, then analyse the data using graphs
- create a cookbook of healthy recipes, using iBooks Author, Book Creator for Android or Book Creator for Apple.
Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)
- develop a timeline that documents a current unit of work in terms of project management
- create a timeline of events in Australia’s history of settlement using online timeline creators such as Knight Lab Timeline or Read Write Think
- write a diary from the perspective of a historical figure, giving their account of an event and how it happened, eg Gregory Blaxland’s diary as he travelled through Darug Country and Gandangara Country (the Blue Mountains) to access Wiradjuri Country.
- compare physical statistics, eg compare Australia with an Asian nation, using Wolfram|Alpha or IBM Watson Analytics
- plot a route from one place to another using paper maps, Google Earth or Google Maps, either as a tourist or as a modern explorer, then:
- set conditions to make the task more difficult
- find the quickest route (time)
- find the shortest route
- find the cheapest route (consider public transport, fares, tolls, entry to venues)
- design a virtual board game that incorporates information on factors that influence where people live, eg characters could represent different members of society, ‘chance’ cards might include risks such as bushfires or flooding, benefits might include discovery of gold or fertile land – the game could incorporate a history theme, including the Indigenous influences on early settlement
- code the game in gaming software such as Unity or YoYo Games
- plan a holiday for seven days, eg from your hometown to a capital city – planning must include:
- travel itinerary with times and transport
- places you plan to visit
- packing checklist.