March 29, 2023
Prince George County Public Schools elementary-aged students spent their final days before Spring Break engrossed in the world of technology, getting hands-on experience and collaboration opportunities during the district's Tech Field Day.
Hosted during the week of March 27, 2023, Tech Field Day exposes elementary students to future Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities and advanced technology as part of the expectations set out through the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) Profile of a Virginia Graduate and to foster an environment of deeper learning through project-based activities.
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In Prince George, Tech Field Day is a division-wide event geared toward the district's fifth-grade students. During their school's event, the students rotate through stations developed and operated by Prince George High School CTE students that focus on the 21st-century learning skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, citizenship, and creativity, often referred to as the "Five Cs."
Each station features coding, engineering, design, and maker-based challenges, using some of the latest instructional technology tools to give students insightful and engaging experiences. Throughout the campus, students could learn coding through Sphero and Ozobot programming challenges, which included obstacle courses and path drawing to guide a round robot along a piece of paper. Students were offered additional programming opportunities through unique coding stations featuring the popular mobile game, Angry Birds.
Outside, drones took to the skies, piloted by Prince George High School students, giving fifth graders a first-hand look at what is quickly becoming a growing transportation and logistics solution in the business world.
Back indoors, creativity was allowed to flow as students took part in STEAM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, challenges, using and combining everyday materials to craft devices to solve a problem, and the Maker Lab, which focuses on design and creation. This lab helps introduce students to additive manufacturing (AM) concepts, which are at the core of 3D printing and focuses on the processes involved in building three-dimensional objects in computer-aided design (CAD) software and creating them through adding materials and a layered fashion. Hosted by Prince George High School CTE students, the lab features MakerBot 3D printing units and a variety of creations produced by the devices.
Alongside students staffing the various stations, students from Prince George High School's Social Media Marketing class were also on-hand to capture the event through photography and social media storytelling. Recognized by the Virginia School Boards Association in its "Showcases for Success" publication, the high school's digital marketing class helps students understand how to leverage the growing world of social media to tell meaningful and impactful stories and understand best practices for navigating the online world.
The mission of Tech Field Day seeks to increase enrollment in the division's Career and Technology Education courses and create life-ready graduates. Programs like Tech Field Day also support the division's 2022-27 Comprehensive Plan as Prince George County Public Schools looks to introduce new course pathways to expand student opportunities for Career and Technical Education courses.