WARREN, NJ - Whether playing a piano, using gummy worms as keys, creating a video game joystick with a simple graphite pencil, or stepping on tin foil pads for a round of “Dance, Dance, Revolution,” there was some serious scientific fun during a recent sixth grade lesson on conductivity at Warren Middle School.

“This is actual, real, official science,” said Sheridan Ameo, a member of the seventh grade Student Technology Support (STS) team, as she demonstrated the gummy worm piano keyboard on Monday, Dec. 12.

The STS team set up stations using so-called Makey Makey circuit boards, alligator clips, and everyday items - including Play Doh, gummy candy, and tin foil - to demonstrate curriculum-based examples of electrical current and conductivity.

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“This is our third year presenting the Makey Makey kits to sixth grade science classes,” said Michelle Zgombic, who in addition to teaching seventh grade social studies, is the middle school technology coach. “The STS was looking for ideas they could present to students as a 'hands-on' workshop and this is what they decided.”

Zgombic oversees both seventh and eighth grade STS teams, which offer their services as a resource to classes in need of technology help. In the case of the Dec. 12 workshop, “they also are looking to garner interest in technology and showcase tools and programs that investigate the future of tech while making a connection to the science curricula,” Zgombic said.

The seventh grade student tech team spent a month preparing for the conductivity workshop by creating a Google Slides presentation, determining and piloting labs and materials, and communicating with teachers to schedule the workshop.

STS Team 8 plans to present workshops in February on computer coding and the 3-D printer.

PHOTO #1: 7th grader Nikita Senkin (L), a member of the Student Technology Support team at Warren Middle School, shows 6th grader Luke Lariviere how to use a simple graphite pencil control pad, a few alligator clips, and a Makey Makey circuit board to play “Pac Man Doodle.”
PHOTO #2: Gummy worms as piano keys, as 7th grade Student Technology Support team member Sheridan Ameo uses a Makey Makey kit to help 6th grade science students to understand conductivity.
PHOTO #3: Emma Grochowski (L) waits her turn as fellow 6th grader Sania Shahane tries out Dance, Dance Revolution with tin foil pads.