A Creative Project in Class 4 Technology

A Creative Project in Class 4 Technology

Who doesn’t love stickers? Certainly not Class 4, especially when they get to make their own! A recent project in Technology gave these students the tools to create laptop stickers that were as eye-catching as they were functional.

“I’m very happy to have you in here,” HCI Director Jon Olivera said to a section of the grade (all of Class 4 participated in this activity at different times). As they gathered around in the Hayot Center for Innovation (or HCI), Dr. Olivera began by introducing them to the “Cricut,” one of a collection of STEAM-focused machines and equipment available in the HCI. “It opens like this,” he demonstrated, lifting the white top. “Aw cool!” one student called out. “The design software tells it how to cut the stickers using special paper.”

Returning to their seats around several tables, the students directed their attention to Middle School Associate Teacher Inés de Bracamonte, who teaches Class 4 Technology. She explained that the stickers would be placed on the outside of their laptops, making it easy to identify each one’s owner.

Then, standing at an illuminated screen, she walked them through a slide show that illustrated the steps involved, including how to choose a readable font, how to format the sticker with their name, advisor and section, and helpful tips for finding suitable images.

On their laptops, the students logged into Google Drive and navigated to Google Drawings. After learning how to set the proper dimensions (4 inches x 2 inches) and how to make a text box to hold their names and other required information, their teachers gave them the go-ahead to begin looking for imagery.

“You should search for something that interests you,” Ms. de Bracamonte emphasized. “For example, I’m also the Varsity Tennis coach at Chapin, so I searched for a tennis ball.”

The HCI buzzed with energy as the girls dove into their searches with gusto, chatting amiably with their classmates and exhibiting no shortage of enthusiasm for an assignment that allowed their personalities to shine through. Among the images that made it to the final round were flowers, dogs, macaroons, dolphins, abstract swirls, a peace sign, koala bears, schools of fish and Taylor Swift. And more Taylor Swift.

Ms. de Bracamonte and Dr. Olivera answered the students’ many questions and helped navigate any technical issues that popped up along the way. When they were done arranging the elements of their stickers in Google Drawings, they saved their documents, sharing them with their teachers. “Great job!” Ms. de Bracamonte commented as the students began to pack up.

The next meeting of Technology was devoted to printing the stickers. As the students looked on, Dr. Olivera pressed “print” on his computer and carefully fed paper into the Cricut, which lives on a counter on the right side of the room. The students held their breath.

Seconds later, an array of colorful stickers started to emerge, much to everyone’s delight. For the remainder of the period, the Cricut busily printed the sheets of stickers. As fast as they could, this section of Class 4 joyfully peeled off the backing and ever-so-gently adhered their unique creations to the corners of their laptops for their fellow classmates and teachers to admire.

The students proudly showed off their newly adorned laptops before rushing off to their next class, no doubt wondering what other exciting projects lie ahead.