Codologie Spring Project

Why do we consider certain civilizations "great"?

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a relaxing break with lots of friends, family, and food (but hopefully not TOO much food!). I certainly had plenty of all 3 and now have some healthy eating & exercise habits to get back into.

I wanted to keep you up to date on our plans for the remainder of this year - it's a little different this year than before! This is going to be a little long, but I want to make sure you have all the info you need. OF COURSE you are always welcome to contact me with any questions, suggestions, etc.

You and your students should be able to find pretty much anything you need on the Student Resource Site.

Before Showcases

The lessons your students should be receiving are Pulse-Width-Modulation (dimming LEDs), Servo Motors (which requires PWM), and Ultrasonic Sensors. That's it! After that, mentors will be introducing the project: Ancient Civilizations.

Project Guidelines

  • 5 Civilizations offered (align with Benchmark): China, Egypt, the Inca Empire, Greece, and Rome
  • Students may choose other civilizations with your approval
  • The project intro presentation (available on the Student Resource Site) gives project options; students may propose their own for your/the mentors' approval
  • Teams must choose at least 2 of: LEDs (programmed), button, servo motor, ultrasonic sensor.
  • Highly recommend they go beyond LED+button since we did that already.
  • Mentors will provide a cardboard base to help control size. St. may add backdrop & 3D structures to the base.
  • Students may take projects home to work on art, but please set rules for bringing it back and limiting how much adults do for them.

Research Project

It is YOUR responsibility to manage the research portion of this project. View this as your Unit 7 project (or maybe pre-project?). The mentors are not trained to teach students writing, presenting, & researching skills and are better used for the computer science/engineering section of the project. They are also not expected to remind you to do the research.

With that in mind, I've tried to keep it as simple as possible and am happy to support in any way, including coming into your classroom to support small groups, teach lessons, whatever you need.

Benchmark will have some text on the 5 main civilizations. Also, I put links to some starter sites on the Student Resource Site to help students research. The resource site is also where students can get their presentation template.

Research Questions:

  • What is your civilization?
  • Where is/was it (include a map)?
  • What is the date range when the civilization was great?
  • What is your civilization known for?
  • How does the project you made relate to your civilization and its greatness?

Here is the rubric. You can also find it on the Student Resource Site.

Big picture

Showcase/Preliminary Judging

These are earlier this year. Unfortunately, spring break (and for Stoddard, OSS) make them have to be VERY early - see the calendars below. There IS time after spring break, BUT I didn't want to make kids present the week after break, and I can't have preliminary judging go all the way up to the day before Play|Code|Compete - families need more warning about a Saturday event than that.

Important: If there is a date conflict, please let me know ASAP!!!


  • same basic format as the winter ones (unless you have suggestions for improvement - I'm all ears!).
  • Only new thing: you and the mentors will choose the top 5 teams, who will present for the judges the following week.
  • I do not care how you choose them. You CAN use the rubric, but I think you know which teams have been working well together and have real knowledge of the content, etc.

Preliminary Judging

  • The next Codologie after showcases
  • Just the top 5 teams set up/present for judges (to respect judges' time)
  • Judges choose finalist & runner-up team
  • All other students: watch presentations. They could score along with the judges for fun/engagement if you'd like.
  • After judging, all teams except finalist & runner-up take project apart as usual
  • I'll give you a parent letter to send home w/ finalists. They MUST bring a signature back in order to attend Play|Code|Compete.
  • If the finalist team cannot attend, the runner-up team will be invited instead.

The Rest of the Year

  • Finalist/runner-up teams polish their project until May 18 (if the finalists are confirmed, runners-up don't need to keep working)
  • All other teams will have some fun new programming lessons with the mentors, TBD
  • There will probably be some canceled classes due to testing.
  • We'll end about the same time, right around Open House.

Play|Code|Compete: Saturday, May 18 at Ross

This year, the Scratch-Off has grown up and become Play|Code|Compete, to reflect that it's no longer JUST Scratch. It is an all-day event, with the Scratch-a-thon in the morning, Codologie/Buildologie midday, and eSports in the afternoon. Because these are at separate times, students will be able to participate in multiple events if it works out that way.

I will send more details on timing, expectations, etc as we get closer. I do know, however, that you may not be able to attend since it is a Saturday, and that is completely understandable. Life happens!

Thank you for ALL your support!

I know you all get a lot thrown at you - just want you to know I see that and always try to keep that in mind. Your students get so many amazing opportunities because of all the different things you take on (and/or schedule in)! Keep being awesome!!