Above Nav Container

The Sundance School - established 1977

Utility Container

Search Trigger (Container)

Button (Container)

Mobile Menu Trigger (container)

Off Canvas Navigation Container

Close Trigger (container)

Search

The I.D.E.A. Lab

The Technology program at The Sundance School is a true 21st century education-based STEAM workshop and maker space. STEAM refers to the interconnection of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. In the IDEA Lab, students are taught to use the Engineering Design Process to work toward solving age-appropriate STEAM challenges they are presented with during each class visit. This involves planning, designing and building as well as describing and documenting their work. Often there is a collaborative component as well, as students share ideas and work in teams. Classes are often connected to school-wide themes and frequently involve a literature connection. Parents are strongly encouraged to follow their children’s achievements and learning adventures using the Seasaw app.


STEAM

STEAM education at Sundance (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) integrates the arts into the STEM disciplines. Students are immersed into an interdisciplinary and applied learning environment where arts based, creativity related components are the driving force in each core subject. Our STEAM curriculum expands our students' academic endeavors and body of knowledge by assuring the arts are an integral and necessary part of educating our future innovators. STEAM education inspires and fosters divergent, convergent and flexible thinking for the 21st century learner; our future, our kids!

Curriculum

The Lower School

Programming, problem-solving, drawing, and designing are all experienced both in the digital realm on iPads, and the real world. Our screen time provides our youngest students a chance to develop their fine motor skills and tablet skills through age-appropriate creative applications.

During their STEAM classes, the students are introduced to:

  1. Digital citizenship and internet safety
  2. Real-world building and design challenges with blocks, marbles, dominoes and recycled materials
  3. Storytelling and literature-based challenges
  4. iPad photography and documentation
  5. Video and music/sound production 
  6. Chroma keying (Green Screen) technology
  7. Programming and robotics

The Primary

While the focus for kindergarten and first graders in the IDEA Lab is on Science, the Primary School students will connect and combine all the STEAM disciplines to fully and deeply participate in meaningful Earth Science, Physical Science and Life Science studies. Programming, problem-solving, drawing, and designing are all experienced both in the digital realm on iPads and chromebooks, and the real world with robots, blocks, drawing tools and more. Our screen time provides our Primary students with a chance to learn and practice tablet and keyboarding skills using Keyboarding Without Tears and problem-solving through age-appropriate creative applications. Besides a full Science curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards and NJ Standards of Science Education, during their STEAM classes, the students are involved in active learning featuring:

  1. Digital citizenship and on-line safety
  2. Real-world building and design challenges with blocks, marbles, dominoes and recycled materials
  3. Storytelling and literature-based challenges
  4. Science experiments both from the curriculum and student-designed
  5. iPad photography and detailed documentation of their work
  6. Video and music/sound production using online applications
  7. Chroma key (Green Screen) technology and movie-making
  8. Beginning computer programming and robotics

Second Grade

While the IDEA Lab focus for second graders is on Science, these students will connect and combine all the STEAM disciplines to fully and deeply participate in meaningful Earth Science, Physical Science and Life Science studies. Programming, problem-solving, drawing, and designing are all experienced both in the digital realm on iPads and chromebooks, and in the real world with robots, blocks, drawing tools and more. The second graders will expand and extend their abilities and skills, building on the work they did in the Primary School. Our screen time provides our second graders with a chance to learn and practice tablet and keyboarding skills using Keyboarding Without Tears, and problem-solving through age-appropriate creative applications. Besides participating in an intensive Science curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards and NJ Standards of Science Education, during their STEAM classes the students are involved in active learning featuring:

  1. Digital citizenship and on-line safety
  2. Real-world building and design challenges with blocks, marbles, dominoes and recycled materials
  3. Storytelling and literature-based challenges
  4. Science experiments both teacher- and student-designed
  5. iPad photography
  6. On-line journaling for detailed documentation of student work
  7. Video and music/sound production using online applications
  8. Chroma key (Green Screen) technology and movie-making
  9. Designing and programming a game with the Scratch Jr. app
  10. 10. Developing and utilizing technological skills appropriate for research, synthesis, analysis, reporting and presentation.

 

3 & 4th Grade

In the IDEA Lab, 3rd/4th graders use a variety of tools, materials and applications to solve specific curricular and theme-based challenges. 

They expand and extend their abilities and skills both on iPads and Chromebooks, building on their accomplishments in previous years of study. Using Keyboarding Without Tears, the students actively focus on typing speed and accuracy to support their greater need for research, note-taking, journaling, and creative writing. They also work with age-appropriate apps that help them to reinforce critical thinking skills, and encourage creative problem-solving. Students in 3rd/4th grade will:

  1. Explain and define digital citizenship, and demonstrate an understanding of safe use of the internet 
  2. Use the Engineering Design Process to create an original invention
  3. Work independently and in collaborative groups to design and build structures with specific functions
  4. Make a book
  5. Design and carry out experiments based on student inquiry
  6. Use iPad camera to photograph and document work
  7. Use on-line Video software and videocamera to film and produce a movie
  8. Use music/sound production studio to create a soundtrack
  9. Experiment with Chroma key (Green Screen) technology
  10. Create and program a game using the Hopscotch app
  11. Program a robot to do specific tasks
  12. Develop and utilize technological skills appropriate for research, synthesis, analysis, reporting and presentation.

5 & 6th Grade

In the IDEA Lab, 5th/6th graders use a variety of tools, materials and applications to solve specific curricular and theme-based challenges. The students actively focus on building typing speed, accuracy and skill as well as word processing ability. Using both Microsoft Office and Google Suites, students are expected to take notes, and create slide shows, presentations and topic papers based on their curriculum-connected research from various internet sources. All students engage in documentation and journaling. Students in 5th/6th grade will:

  1. Explain and define digital citizenship, and demonstrate an understanding of safe use of the internet 
  2. Use the Engineering Design Process to create an original invention with implications for solving a world problem
  3. Work independently and in collaborative groups to design and build structures with specific functions
  4. Author and create a non-fiction book about a subject of their own choosing.
  5.  Design and carry out experiments based on student inquiry
  6. Use iPad camera to photograph and document work
  7. Use on-line Video software and video camera to film and produce a movie
  8. Use music/sound production studio to create a soundtrack
  9. Experiment with Chroma key (Green Screen) technology
  10. Create and program a game using the Scratch programming language
  11. Build and program a robot to do specific tasks
  12. Develop and utilize technological skills appropriate for research, synthesis, analysis, reporting and presentation.