The 'Maze' concept introduces the progress outcomes of the draft New Zealand Digital Technologies Curriculum (2017). It was conceived, at the CS4PD conference, by Aleta Chowfin, Computer Science and Digital Media teacher at Greymouth High School. She is also the NZACDITT Hub Coordinator for the West Coast of the South Island. Using some of the material from the CS Unplugged resources, some of her Year 11 students helped designed the stickers used by students visiting the Maze. The idea of 'The Maze' is two-fold, shaping a physical 'pop-up' space with fun interactive digital activities for students and teachers to navigate and explore, and an opportunity to navigate how computational thinking, and designing and developing digital outcomes, looks and works in schools. On this page, you'll find links to further resources, and an outline of the Maze activities, as well as photos and videos captured during the event.

Bringing 'The Maze' vision to life

The GHS Technology department, TechSpace, Fusion Networks, and Vanessa Pringle HOD Computing from John Paul II High School in Greymouth, mobilised with Aleta to help realise the vision of a practical, hands-on, interactive way to explore the two new technological areas - computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes, of the draft revised Technology Curriculum. Folding panels with screen printed logos were constructed to help shape the physical 'pop-up' space of the Maze, which was located in the school library.

Welcoming students to The Maze, and seeking student feedback and ideas

Aleta welcomes students to The Maze

Completion the certificate for activity stickers

Aleta invites feedback and suggestions

Product Code Check Digits Activity

Click here to access the lesson and resources on CS Unplugged.

Computational Thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logic

Mathematics: Numeracy

Activity 1 - Bar Codes.m4v

Aleta explains the activity

Computational thinking sticker fun

Learning about bar code check numbers

Manipulating Python Programme - Interactive Activity

Learn about Python Programming on Code Academy

Computational Thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logic

Draft Computational Thinking Progress Outcome 3: Students understand what algorithms are, the difference between algorithms and programs, and that there can be more than one algorithm for the same problem. They are able to decompose problems into step-by-step instructions to create an algorithm for a computer program, and use logical thinking to predict the behaviour of these programs. They are able to develop and debug simple programs that use inputs, outputs, sequence and loops. Students understand that computers store data using just two states, represented by binary digits (bits).

Activity 2 - Python Programming.m4v

Aleta explains Python programming basics

Manipulating the programme

3D printer display

Digital Game Design

Find out more about the Unity Game Engine here

Designing and Developing Digital Outcomes

Computational Thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logic

Draft Computational Thinking Progress Outcome 5: Students can independently decompose problems into an algorithm that is articulated in such a way that a computing device can understand. They can implement the algorithm by creating a program which uses inputs, outputs, sequencing, loops, variables of different data types, and selection using comparative operators and logical operators. Students can determine when to use different types of control structures. Students can explain/document their programs and use an organised approach for testing and debugging. Students understand how computers store more complex types of data using binary digits.

Activity 3 - Unity 3D Modelling Programming.m4v

Aleta explains the Y10 student's work

Interacting with the Desert Island game

Interacting with the Desert Island game

Parity - Error Detection and Correction

Click here for the Parity lesson and resources

Computational Thinking: Decomposition, Generalising and Patterns

Mathematics: Numeracy

Draft Computational Thinking Progress Outcome 1: Students break down a simple non-computerised task into a set of precise, unambiguous, step by step instructions (algorithmic thinking). They are able to give these instructions, and identify if they have gone wrong and correct them (simple debugging). By doing this they show that they can use their decomposition skills to take a task and break it down into its smallest steps.

Exploring Parity

Exploring Parity

Year 8 students exploring activities in The Maze

Leap Motion - Virtual Reality Interactive Activity

Learn about Leap Motion here

Interacting with 'Leap Motion'

Fun!

Interacting with 'Leap Motion'

Interacting with 'Leap Motion'

TechSpace Technology

Designing and developing digital outcomes

Computational thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logic

Activity 4 - Sonic Pi Programme.m4v

Aleta explains motion and sound on the RPi

Exploring Sonic Pi motion detection

Exploring Sonic Pi motion detection

Senior Secondary Digital Outcomes

Designing and developing digital outcomes

Computational thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logicD

Draft Computational Thinking Progress Outcome 8: Students can analyse a selection of areas of computer science (e.g. formal languages, network communication protocols, complexity and tractability, artificial intelligence, graphics and visual computing, big data) in relation to how the area is underpinned by the key ideas of algorithms, data representation and programming. They can evaluate how the synthesis of these key ideas is applied effectively when developing real world applications. Students can use an accepted software engineering methodology to design, develop, document and test a complex computer program.

Activity 5 - Senior Programming.m4v

Senior Secondary Digital Outcomes - Robotics

Designing and developing digital outcomes

Computational thinking: Algorithmic thinking, abstraction, decomposition, generalising and patterns, evaluation, logic

Draft Computational Thinking Progress Outcome 8: Students can analyse a selection of areas of computer science (e.g. formal languages, network communication protocols, complexity and tractability, artificial intelligence, graphics and visual computing, big data) in relation to how the area is underpinned by the key ideas of algorithms, data representation and programming. They can evaluate how the synthesis of these key ideas is applied effectively when developing real world applications. Students can use an accepted software engineering methodology to design, develop, document and test a complex computer program.

Activity 6 - Robotics.m4v

Aleta explains robotics outcomes

Exploring the battle robot

Year 8's exploring The Maze

Next Steps

The Maze pilot has proven very successful, student visitors from Year 8 to Year 10 were very engaged with the interactive activities, and excited about the possibilities of learning through the Digital Technologies Curriculum. There was a high level of fascination with virtual reality and robotics. Student appeared very comfortable, keen, and ready to engage with computational thinking. Teachers were intrigued and interested. The budget to establish The Maze for this pilot work was minimal.

As much as a one-off introduction, The Maze also has great potential as a local travelling 'roadshow' on the West Coast. It could also be replicated in other locations. Interactive activities could change over time. Not only could The Maze introduce students of all ages and from all walks of life to the fun and possibilities of computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes, it could also be a tool to improve the digital literacy of teachers and the wider school community.

Funding is essential to next steps for The Maze.

Please contact Aleta Chowfin for further information - chowfina@greyhigh.school.nz


Resources