TechStart class in action

Teacher: “An electron is a subatomic particle that is negatively charged”

Class:  “YES!” “I knew it!” “Sweet!”

Me: “…Wow”

I’m new to TAF and visited my first TechStart classroom at Mount View Elementary this week. The 25 fifth graders entered the classroom in a flurry of energy after lunch. Within minutes of entering, the students hopped on their laptops and began their TechStart warm-up exercises. That day, it was a typing exercise game. While the students warmed up, their TechStart instructor, Ms. Melamed, and Mr. Ewing, their regular teacher, moved throughout the room to assist students with any difficulties.

Once everyone was thoroughly warmed-up, the TechStart teacher announced that they would be learning about CIRCUITS and building one during their lesson. They watched a short animated film about circuits and subatomic particles and then took a quiz as a class. Students raised their hands to signal if they thought the choice was A, B, C, or D. When a majority got the answer correct, the class erupted in calls of “yes!” “Yeah!” and “I got it!”

After their quiz, they divided into partners, picked up their experiment supplies (batteries, lightbulbs and wires) and set to work. Soon, little light bulbs were lighting up all over the classroom.

What were my takeaway lessons from Techstart? In addition to the definition of an electron, I learned that Techstart classrooms are places where kids think learning is cool and celebrate it. I’m excited for my next opportunity to see TAF kids in action.

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