8th Grade Shark Tank

Programming Projects in 8th Grade PLTW Computer Science
Posted on 12/13/2019
Shark TankThis year we introduced two new PLTW curriculums to replace our 8th grade computers class, and the first semester course is Computer Science for Innovators and Makers. In this class students learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development and their final project has them designing and developing an actual product that solves a problem. Through this curriculum our students are learning how to create their own products and what better way to show their learning than through a mock Shark Tank for these budding entrepreneurs!

Mrs. Sharon Lindteigen brought in a variety of judges from teachers and administrators in the building, to directors and Instructional Coaches throughout the district, even our superintendent made an appearance as a guest judge one hour! The students not only invented a product, but were also responsible for creating a presentation that would be given in front of the judges, displaying the functionality of their item, and answering questions from the judges about their process and improvements that could be made to the design. Each presentation included the problem that students were trying to solve, the concept that generated their solution, the code they used to program the micro:bit that is attached to their product, and the aspects final product that solves the problem.

The judges were so impressed with all of the hard work that the students put into their products and the knowledge that they have gained this semester about coding and software development. Their ability to communicate what they have learned and how they used that knowledge to create their products was also very impressive. This project, and culminating Shark Tank presentation, was such an authentic experience for students that helped them to develop skills they will need in future real world situations. Who knows, maybe some of them will show up on the real Shark Tank one day with their inventions!