News from Room 402 / Early April, 2012
Above: Kevin and Izzy working on their map projection project on the whiteboard walls
Cartography: This course uses mapping to ask questions about how we perceive the world, how images are used to illustrate statistics and tell stories, and how we translate 3D spaces to 2D surfaces. We began the course by drawing outlines of the United States from memory, analyzing and reproducing map projections (see above), and drawing US states at a scale of 1 in=24 miles. We’re preparing to construct paper mache globes this week! Learn more about the course at https://roomfourzerotwo.com/cartography/.
#Disastercamp: This course considers the extent to which “natural” disasters are grounded in social factors (like poverty, or politics), and students have spent the first two weeks of the course studying those circumstances. In the first week, we examined the idea of “vulnerability” to natural hazards and watched a video about a community in Managua, Nicaragua. Based on research, students proposed new inventions for disaster prevention or response in Managua. In our second week together, we looked to Haiti as a case study in how social factors exacerbate the effects of a natural hazard. Students played a number of games that were designed to educate communities about the importance of disaster preparedness, and are now developing their own board games to educate players about why Haitians were so vulnerable to the 2010 earthquake. Learn more about the course at https://roomfourzerotwo.com/disastercamp/.
Additionally: Ms. Fetzner and I coach a team of 11 iSchool girls who will be competing in the Technovation Challenge, a nationwide competition to build an innovative science education mobile app using App Inventor for Android. Our girls have developed two prototypes, and their final presentation is at Google on the evening of April 25 – reserve a free ticket here.