Friday, November 8, 2013

Safire Racing Team Visits LME

Yesterday our 5th graders were excited to hear from the Safire Racing Team from UAE, who are in Austin to compete in the F1 in Schools World Finals this week.

The Safire team talked about aerodynamics, friction and energy as it relates to the design, manufacturing and construction of a world-class miniature F1 car. These highschoolers use software called Autodesk to design their car from the inside out! 

LME students were excited to hear about the design process, as well as see the awesome videos and songs the team created for their presentations. 

Click the links for more information about Safire Racing or F1 in Schools.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tech Goes Wild with iNaturalist

Mr. Hance's Enrichment Cluster has begun using an app called iNaturalist on the eleven Samsung tablets purchased by our PTA for outdoor learning. iNaturalist is one of several new resources dedicated to "citizen science", where regular people post information about wildlife they encounter, such as photographs, location, and observations, and scientists help curate and accurately label that information.

The iNaturalist website

Laurel Mountain students are contributing to the effort to document species found in our area. The students photograph wildlife they encounter in the Preserve using either digital cameras or the tablets, then upload those photos online to the iNaturalist website utilizing either the iNaturalist app (which integrates easily with the iNaturalist website) or any internet-connected computer.

Using iNaturalist to document sightings

Uploading photos using the app

This morning at the Enrichment Cluster meeting, scientists from Texas Parks and Wildlife came to speak to the class about iNaturalist, which is a tool they use in their everyday jobs. The students and Mr. Hance learned quite a bit about how to use all of the site's many neat features. The scientists also helped the cluster identify animals within photos they've taken, and learned some very technical vocabulary in the process!