Project Overview: One of the biggest questions we face as Jewish educators today is how we can make our students’ understanding of Jewish texts, traditions, and history relevant and meaningful to them. At the Maimonides School teachers work to answer this question by integrating the students’ knowledge of computer coding and robotics to help bring ancient texts into the 21st century. With the help of the schools’ STEM team, the Judaic Studies teachers integrated computer science within their units to create projects where students demonstrated their knowledge of the content being covered in class. Using ScratchJr and KIBO robotics teachers were able to help students bring their knowledge off the page and into the classroom.
Project Goal: The goal was for students to summarize what they have learned in Perek 18 in a fun and creative way with ScratchJr using words of the text and choosing the proper characters to portray their understanding.
Students will be able to: Use the ScratchJr App to create three scenes from Perek 18 which highlight the material learned in class using the Chumash text and Hebrew phrases including the following:
- Avraham greeting his guests/Angles.
- The guests/Angles shares the reasons why they came to Avraham.
- Avraham’s plea to saving Sedom from destruction.
1. The rubric, and expectations of the assignment were presented to the students.
2-4. Students implemented their coding skills to create their projects on ScatchJr.
4-5. Students presented their projects to their peers while projecting it on the SmartBoard.
Teacher Preparation: Before starting their project, each teacher met with a member of the STEM team to brainstorm which area of their curriculum would be an ideal place for this STEM project. Together a topic and project were chosen based on UBD’s (Understanding by Design) backward mapping. Teachers expressed the goals that they had and crafted their project around them. The specific technology pieces were chosen based on what would help the teacher and students reach those specific goals. Teachers met multiple times with the STEM coordinator to make sure they felt comfortable with the project and to create the plan of how to successfully implement it in the classroom.
Project Rubric: Click to View the Rubric