Project-based Learning

Announcing The 2018 Dataseam Sci-Fi Project – Rules, Prizes, Dates

This is a great opportunity for students to apply knowledge and imagination in order to create a new world; sound the alarm on the future; or solve today’s problems. Students are challenged to create a movie, original piece of art, or written example of science fiction.

Imagination is a powerful tool for any scientist, inventor or leader. Imagination opens the mind to alternate ways of approaching real-world problems.

Prizes.  Winners of each category (Movie, Writing, Art) and each grade group (5-8 and 9-12) receive a $200 Apple Card to purchase equipment, videos, music and more.  Honorable Mention winners receive a $50 Apple Card.  Individual or team receives one prize.

 

Your Assignment  Decide what you want to say. Develop the characters, the setting, the conflict, and the resolution. Choose the media to best tell your story.

Movie.  Film should be 7-10 minutes in length including titles, credits and any additional outtakes. There is no limit to number of characters, scenes or locations for your film. Opening title should include 1) Film Name, 2) Production Team Name, 3) “A Dataseam Sci-Fi Project Film. Submit “mp4” video format with upload limit of 300 MB file size.  (Larger size may be accepted, info@kydataseam.com)

Writing.  Can include short story, personal narrative or screen play. 500-800 words. May include photographs or illustrations that count toward awesomeness points. Submit as one PDF with upload limit of 300 MB file size.

Visual Art.  Produce a photo, drawing or other type of two-dimension artwork that tells a story. Must include 100-150 word caption describing inspiration and context for the image. Submit as one PDF with upload limit of 300 MB file size.

Dataseam Sci-Fi Project Rules

Judging – Each piece will be scored by judges based on the following criteria.

  1. 30% Creativity. How well do you use characters, setting, conflict and resolution to tell the story.
  2. 30% Production Quality. How well do you use the media to tell your story? How well have you used editing, music, sound, and camera? How well do your words capture the reader. Is your art balanced and visually impactful?
  3. 30% Makes us think. How have you helped society look at a topic differently? How have you captured the viewer and made them think about our world, our technology, our place in the universe or our place on the block?
  4. 10% Awesomeness. Extra credit because it has that much awesomeness.

Original Content – Students should create all work including story ideas, scripts, storyboards, shooting, editing and post-production. Teams should not infringe on third party (images, video, music). Legal, limited use of third party images, sound is allowed.

Space Theme – Stories, video and writings must be rooted in some aspect of space. It can be far away planets in deep space, satellites and space stations, or deal with alien cultures that visit our planet.  The sky is the limit.

Real Science – While we encourage you to envision new and alternate realities, your piece should be grounded in fundamentally sound science. You may imagine “new” discoveries or inventions that change what we assume to be true.

Eligibility – Competition is open to students attending school in Kentucky. Project judged and prizes awarded in two grade groups, 5-8 and 9-12. You must compete in the grade you are attending at time of submission.  Open to individual or team.

Submission – All entries must be submitted using the online portal (HERE) After February 15. Follow the instructions on the submission page. We strongly suggest that you test the upload capabilities from your school or location prior to the deadline. Mark the project “TEST” in the subject field.

Any questions contact, info@kydataseam.com.

Program Dates

Program kickoff January 15, 2018

Submission Deadline March 1, 2018 (midnight local time)

Winners announced via website March 15, 2018

Professional Level Performance is the Result of Professional Level Practice

(Danville, Ky) – People who get better at any skill, do so through carefully designed purposeful practice. Purposeful practice focuses students on their learning zone, and develops a life-long learning attitude-a different way of learning.
We had the  opportunity to work with small groups of students in a Governor’s School for the Arts, photography ArtShops. The challenge was, how do you help the students improve their skills in just a few hours? More importantly how do you enable the students to take this short workshop experience and run with it the rest of their lives?
The four step design of our  GSA ArtShops target the goal of purposeful practice . Let’s consider the details.
 
Establishing Current Capability
The first step in designing purposeful practice was to identify specific skills the students needed to take better photos. Our students brought portfolios of their current work for evaluation. We set benchmarks of where the students were so we could decide where we wanted to take them.
Setting Goals
Three learning zones were considered when designing the student goals.
  1. Goals that were already mastered would have been in the student’s comfort zone.
  2. Goals too challenging would have put the students in their panic zone.
  3. Knowing where the benchmarks were, we set some goals just beyond their current performance levels. This was that magical zone where students push forward and learn best. Their learning zone.

With our goals in mind we introduced a discussion of concepts in lighting, composition, camera angles, leading lines, etc., that the students could use to improve their photography.

Our BASICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY video, and Keynote presentation (a Powerpoint version is also available) can be downloaded.
Hands on practice
The students were given a photographic assignment in their learning zone. We asked them to produce purposeful images, using the concepts and techniques we discussed. They were asked to be prepared to show their techniques later in a critique session. We accompanied them during their hands on practice, looking for teaching moments. This way we could observe and identify points of difficulty, gently providing guidance.
Critical review
Feedback was so important as we reviewed the work that the students produced. More importantly, the review included how to continue improving the images. Where to get help and what to do next.
Specific questions helped the students analyze what they saw in the images. What do you like? What captures your attention? Were specific compositional/lighting techniques used to create the images? Where do your eyes focus? Is there a mood captured? How will you use what you have observed in this image to improve your future images?
At this point, the students began to design their own purposeful practice. We stressed a model of deliberate, highly structured practice, with specific goals for each student to take with them. The discussions were carefully guided to enable the students to become “their own best critic”.
Review of purposeful practice
Purposeful practice starts by identifying what you want to accomplish.  Set goals that are just beyond current performance levels.  This is your learning zone.
Don’t work in your comfort zone, or your panic zone.  Work in your learning zone until you master the goals.  Seek feedback from experts. Blogs, podcasts, videos, classes, coaching, etc.,  are great sources.
Be your own best critic.  Never give up!  Be a life long learner!
Additional information and registration for GSA ARTSHOPS.

Crash Course In Modern Visual, Audio Communication – WKU MTN Workshops 2017

(Morehead, Kentucky) – Teachers from Lawrence, Meniffee, Lee, and Ohio Counties spent three long and productive days honing their skills in modern communications.  Today’s student is required to use visual, audio, text, speech, and all forms of communication to successfully navigate today’s working world.  The 2017 Western Kentucky Mountain Workshops Teacher Track exposed educators to an array of tools and techniques.

As you can see from the photos below, this was a sun up to well past sun down, hands-on workshop that pushed teachers out of their comfort zones and presented new opportunities for their students.  While much of the workshop is focused on photojournalism, it is really a program on CRITICAL THINKING.  Analyze.  Take appropriate action.  Evaluate.  Adjust.  Achieve best results.

It is hard to explain this experience, but we wanted to share some of the knowledge you can benefit your students.  Here are a series of links to video resources:

Basics of Photography  http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=738  Complete with downloadable presentation showing basic composition, lighting and ways to make more interesting, engaging and memorable photos.

Story Telling http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1052

Sound http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1051

Lighting http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1050

Illustrating Your Point http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1049

Editing http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1048

The Interview-Better Story Telling  http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=1053  All the help you need to produce better video interviews.  Sound is important.  Preparation is critical.

The Process  http://www.kydataseam.com/project-review?pid=714  How to organize your students to help them evaluate information, create ideas, outline a story and produce a meaningful project.

2017 WKU Mountain Workshops  http://mountainworkshops.org

2017 WKU Mountain Workshops Video  https://vimeo.com/240334679?ref=fb-share&1

 

 

 

Programmable Electronics for the Modern Maker. 4-Day Workshop.

MODERN MAKER – PROGRAMMABLE ELECTRONICS WORKSHOP.  JULY 24-27.

Electronics run the world and programming runs electronics. Each device, from the microwave in your house to the phone you hold in your hand, is a series of micro-electronics and sensors designed and programmed to perform tasks. This four-day workshop introduces basic electronic and programming concepts with hands on projects so students get a clear understanding of how to approach a challenge, solve a problem and build a workable device. We also want to have fun building things.

Workshop is for those interested in electronics and programming; those that want to see if they are interested; and those who like pulling things apart to see how they work. Most careers today require a basic knowledge of modern electronics, programming and coding. Designed for students, grades 7-10 with an interest in exploring and trying new things. Teachers have also found this workshop helpful to gain an understanding of electronic principles and programming.

Each participant receives a complete kit featuring an Arduino Nano microcontroller, various sensors, addressable LED strip, and other components to build projects. Students take their electronic kit home.  See the basic project outlines and watch the video from instructor John Soward. http://www.kydataseam.com/learninglibrary?pid=Programmable+Electronics

Brought to you by the Challenger Learning Center in Hazard, Kentucky and Dataseam. July 24th-27th 2017, 10 am-3pm. Workshop held at Challenger Center located on the Hazard Community and Technical College. Registration. Limited need-based scholarships available, email tom.cravens@kctcs.edu.

 

Photography techniques that help create more impact-sample photo gallery.

A few weeks ago we worked with several classes from Clay, Lee and Owsley County schools exploring basics of photography to creatie pictures with a purpose.  Students are working on various projects involving landscapes, portraits and stories about their communities.

Exercises are designed to get the student thinking about how they can help the viewer engage with the image and understand what the photographer is trying to communicate.

During the individual classes, we covered common techniques used by many professional photographers – Basics of Photography.   Each student then created images demonstrating those techniques.  In the tradition of any good project-based lesson, we shared our photos and spent time critiquing the work so we could all benefit from the examples of what worked and what didn’t.   Mistakes make you better.

Students got hands-on experience using light, leading lines, patterns, unique angles, rule of thirds, framing, and negative space to bring interest and focus to their images.  Students spent time thinking through the process to make an impression with their viewer.

You can view the Basics of Photography video and download the PowerPoint for your class.  These techniques are clearly illustrated and will help your students improve their work.

Teachers, mark your calendar for the Western Kentucky University Mountain Workshops October 24-27, 2017.  Dataseam is once again sponsoring a select group of educators for this year’s Dataseam Teacher’s Track to be held in Morehead, Ky.  This is a once in a career opportunity for teachers to work with photo and journalism professionals from across the country to better understand how to help students enhance communication skills using images, text, video, and audio.  Official application should be available as soon as you get back to school in the fall.