ISG Technology Program
ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
The International School in Genoa has made the decision to become a 1:1 technology school as giving our students easy access to technology is our ultimate goal. ISG has made strides in the last few years regarding our technology capabilities, but we are continuing to make our technology program a top priority to realize this ultimate goal. A 1:1 program means that every student in grades 6-12 will come to school with a portable device. At the same time the school will provide two carts with MacBooks for the use of students at the primary school.
This is an extremely important shift for our students. It will offer our students the ability to compete in this technology era. It was also very important to find the best possible option for our parents and students.
THE ISG INNOVATION LAB
WHAT IS THE INNOVATION LAB?
The Innovation Lab is a place to tinker, to create, to learn, and to invent. It creates an environment of learning and innovation. It provides access to the skills, the materials, and the advanced technology to allow the students to make (almost) anything. Innovation, collaboration, project-based learning, design thinking, and entrepreneurship come together in the ISG Innovation Lab.
WHY CREATE AN INNOVATION LAB AT ISG?
The ISG Innovation Lab serves as a catalyst for our curriculum that takes students beyond the traditional STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and incorporates the art of elegant design. The lab integrates technology, education, and creativity into a 21st-century program preparing ISG students for innovative thinking and creative collaboration. It expands students' choices and gives them access to a different model of learning that may better serve their learning styles and interests, and ultimately better prepare them for our ever-changing world of innovation and technology.
It is increasingly clear that schools need to design and build innovative new spaces that enable students to develop the critical skills, motivation, and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly changing world; in other words, schools need to take the initiative to foster innovation and make learning more relevant and meaningful for students. The ISG Innovation Lab will be available to students in both Primary and Secondary School and will be available for scheduled lessons with our technology teacher, as well as our visual arts department. It will also be used to support classroom teachers and students in completing Project Based Learning assignments.
ISG started a fundraiser to build the Innovation Lab, it provides students throughout the whole school with access to equipment such as:
- High Capacity Desktop computers
- A CNC machine
- A 3D printer
- A laser Cutter
- Circuit boards and sensors
- Raspberry pi programming computers
- Go Pro ‘Karma’ Drones
- Virtual Reality headsets
- Arduino coding and electronics kits
- Lego and robotics kits
- Green Screen capabilities
The Gruppo Spinelli Innovation Lab in Action
The Gruppo Spinelli Innovation Lab in Action
ISG is very proud of our new learning space that will enable our students to develop the critical skills, motivation, and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly changing world, helping to make learning more relevant and meaningful.
If you want to see what learning looks like in the Gruppo Spinelli Innovation Lab, then click on the link here.
ROBOTICS at ISG: The NAO CHALLENGE 2021
Why a challenge:
ISG is convinced that education and culture in all the subjects, STEM and Arts, technology and humanities, are important tools to prepare future generations for the challenges that the current technological revolution will bring and for this reason, ISG invests resources in participating in the NAO contest, which is dedicated to humanoid robotics that further develops skills and knowledge in those fields.
Working on a robot stimulates students to build their engineering intuition and emphasizes meaningful problem-based learning through the integration and the application of their knowledge. Strategic problem-solving, creativity, innovation, computational thinking, higher order thinking, logical and analytical reasoning. These are just a few examples of the abilities developed by educational robotics, abilities that will be fundamental in a lot of futur professional areas.
Robotics is a field that has the ability to empower young girls in the classroom. STEM-focused fields are traditionally male dominated, leaving young girls to question their ability to program or build computers. Because the tech world is not one that focuses on or is created for girls, by engaging them with robotics and technology in the classroom we can begin to change that. When girls realize their ability to build robots and program, they are empowered to have successful futures and create innovative technology.
Furthermore, ISG embraces the latest skills and knowledge for effective teaching through introducing robotics, which is breaking new ground in learning methodologies around the world.
The NAO challenge:
The NAO Challenge is an educational contest for High School students organized for the first time in Italy in 2015 by the School of Robotics in collaboration with Softbank Robotics and the Italian Company CampuStore. The aim of the competition is to offer high school students the opportunity to work and program a humanoid robot to be used in plausible and real-like situations with the aim of spreading the social potential of service robotics.
The theme for 2021 was: the protection and promotion of cultural heritage.
The school announced its participation in the competition back in November 2020, and asked the High School students who are interested in exploring robotics to submit an application and pay a fee of 10 Euros. All submitted applications were been approved; ISG received 29 applications from 18 girls and 11 boys. The competitions were organized in online sessions and in respect of all Covid measures.
The students were divided into four teams, two teams from grade 9, one team from grade 10 and one team from grade 11. For stage one, the teams completed five assignments developing their team building, collaboration while practicing computational and analytical thinking. Also, in this stage the participating students in teams brainstormed an idea for the robot to promote the italian culture and heritage. All four teams successfully qualified for the semi finals.
In the semifinals, students developed the algorithm that implements their team’s idea of how the robot could be utilized to help promote italian culture. After which the students got a hands on experience to apply their algorithm in the form of a program to the robot. Then they observed and evaluated how the robot functions toward its intended purpose according to their plan.
The Nao Academics Edition was developed for universities and laboratories for research and education purposes. Nao robots have been used for research and education purposes in numerous academic institutions worldwide. As of 2015, over 5,000 Nao units are in use in more than 50 countries. All Nao Academics versions feature an inertial measurement unit with accelerometer, gyrometer and four ultrasonic sensors that provide Nao with stability and positioning within space. The legged versions included eight force-sensing resistors and two bumpers. The Nao robot is controlled by a specialised Linux-based operating system, dubbed NAOqi. The OS powers the robot's multimedia system, which includes four microphones (for voice recognition and sound localization), two speakers (for multilingual text-to-speech synthesis) and two HD cameras (for computer vision, including facial and shape recognition). The robot also comes with a software suite that includes a graphical programming tool dubbed Choregraphe, a simulation software package and a software developer's kit.