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Rainbow students’ video, ‘lesson plan’ rate at Tech Fair

Students from Rainbow Elementary School participated in the annual Northwest Region Tech Fair at the Von Braun Center.

The Alabama Council for Technology in Education (ACTE) hosted the fair.

Students in grades 3-12 entered individual or group technology projects. Categories included computer programming, multimedia, robotics, video production and web page design. This fair allowed three individual and three groups maximum per category and level from each school.

Sixth-graders Aija Abele and Michaela Philip won first place in video production for a film about Rainbow. “Aija and Michaela have participated in ACTE Tech Fair since they were in fourth grade,” Gulden said. “They have won first-place awards at regional and state levels for projects in computer programming, video production and multimedia.”

First-time participants Lija Abele and Alexandra Meyer in fourth grade earned first place in general applications for “Correct Steps to Cursive.” “Lija and Alexandra not only researched this topic (online) but also interviewed teachers to get first-hand knowledge” about what works best and why, Gulden said.

“I love ACTE Tech Fair,” Gulden said. “Students spend weeks, sometimes months, preparing. They always amaze me with their talents and motivation.”

With their projects, students submitted detailed notebooks to judges, sponsor Debbie Gulden said. “They had to demonstrate technology skills (to) create the project and answer any questions (from) judges about hardware and software … and knowledge gained.”

“My students know, if they want to (place), they must be committed to thoroughly researching, organizing and creating the best project possible and demonstrating to the judge what they’ve learned,” she said.

Gulden acknowledged Sylvia Dean, ACTE committee chairperson, for a well-organized competition.

Gulden’s fourth-grade enrichment students complete a concept-based unit on change, especially technological advances. Her students review early changes in technology “but really get excited about current technology and predicting future changes.”

For their final assignment, Gulden’s students “discovered E-Toys, Scratch and Alice programs designed to teach computer programming to kids by incorporating code blocks, graphics and sound files,” she said.

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