The technology program invites girls to embrace technology as a positive force while challenging them to think critically about its role in their lives. Students build foundational skills through exposure to various technology tools and opportunities while being simultaneously guided to problem solve, self-regulate, and develop a critical consciousness. Graduates gain a balanced, confident stance in preparation for future fluency and leadership in technology.
Sixth and Seventh Grade Technology & Tools Class
This weekly class teaches students the technical skills they need to be successful in their academic classes. Lessons provide an opportunity to practice skills needed for a particular academic unit, increasing their proficiency with repeated exposure. In both years, special attention will be given to teaching girls how to use their school-issued iPads mindfully and appropriately both in class and as they move between school and home. Units from Common Sense Media’s Digital Compass and Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum will be interspersed. Girls also will learn to use other tools on campus like the Makerbot 3D printer and those in the tinkering stations.
Some of the goals of the program are to break down the digital divide, assure each girl has equal access, integrate technology into classroom lessons and enrichment activities, and facilitate the teaching and learning of individualized content. Students can create multimedia in the context of their learning, organize their class work, and excavate data and facts from digital sources. Apps allow girls to learn and demonstrate understanding with different modalities whether a video, voice recording, or digital annotation of a paper journal. As girls progress through the grades and receive more training, they gain more freedom in taking home the device and utilizing a variety of apps.
Robotics and Technovation Clubs
These tech clubs are designed to spark excitement about programming and technology. Robotics Club follows the First Lego League curriculum, and Technovation teams are part of a global app-coding competition. In Robotics, girls work in teams to design, build, and program a robot to maneuver or pick up small Lego obstacles. Their robots compete against other robots to do the same tasks. In Technovation, girls strategize, design, and code an app. Additionally, they must write a business plan and go through an ideation process to prove how they will market and sell their app. In both clubs, girls must collaborate in teams to research a problem in the community that ties into a particular theme, then derive an innovative solution. In both clubs, girls are taught valuable life skills, such as learning to work on a team, competing under pressure, and maintaining good sportswomanship. Furthermore, girls learn they can be successful not only in coding and robotics, but also can have leadership positions in these fields. Several JMSG alum have gone on to be the only girls on their coed high school robotics teams, leading these teams as well.
Before school, during morning break, or between classes, girls deconstruct devices, build, use tools, and play at the tinkering stations. Learning through play is an effective method to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Tinkering is responsible for developing new technology, prototypes, works of art, breakthroughs in film, and methods of improving what already exists. Spatial awareness, mechanical reasoning, invention, exploration, experimentation, risk-taking, systematic questioning, self-monitoring, self-correction, and creativity are all a part of the tinkering experience.