Intermediate SAGE

4th grade

Unit of Study Updates

Spring is here, and our students have been working hard to expand their learning and prepare for their Unit of Study Showcases! Read on to see more about the exciting things happening at the NIC in recent weeks.

How to Train Your Robot

In this last quarter, the students designed their own program. This was the second design challenge where students came up with their own mission and had to figure out how the robot could provide a solution to that problem. After identifying a problem that the robot could solve or an action it could take, they then wrote a program to test it out. We had some failure and the students learned that sometimes our first attempt is never successful, but it is important to keep trying. They also learned that there is another set of special barcodes we can use with Edison. These barcodes allow Edison to react to button-press commands from your TV/DVD remote control. Using the remote control, students were able to drive Edison around like a remote-controlled car!

The How to Train Your Robot OPEN HOUSE will be held on Wednesday, May 15. How to Train Your Robot students and their families are invited to visit anytime between 4:30 and 5:30 PM!

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Students have worked to understand members of Phylum Arthropoda this past quarter through a comparative anatomy dissection. They compared and contrasted both the internal and external features of a crawdad and a grasshopper – Class Crustacea and Class Insecta. After they completed this lab work, they added new information to their Zoology textbooks in book creator. Finally, students learned the characteristics of members of Phylum Chordata. They then moved on to learning about sharks to prepare for their dissection of members of Class Chondrichthyes.

Our Zoology showcase will be May 9th from 5:00 - 6:30 in the science area of the NIC.

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Young Architect Studio

During 3rd quarter, students became comfortable with basic 3D modeling using a program called SketchUp. As students worked to design a simple house, they gained exposure to 3D modeling tools, learned how to create 3D shapes, and added building elements such as a door, windows, and a roof. They applied their digital skills to a model for “Shipping Container Architecture” using steel intermodal shipping containers as the main structural element. Then students investigated “Tiny House Architecture” and designed their own tiny houses under 500 square feet in both digital form and a 3D model.

The Young Architect Studio SHOWCASE will be held on Thursday, May 9. Architecture students and their families are invited to visit anytime between 5:00 and 6:30 PM!

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SAGE Startup

This quarter students learned some guidelines for creating a company name such as using alliteration, foreign languages, being catchy or descriptive. They also learned logos need to be clean and scalable. They were exposed to the design process and created a poster for their journal. We discussed why we use the design process to keep us focused and moving forward. But we also understand we can move back and forth between steps as they learn more. They researched and started to design their products they will “sell”. We have learned a lot about size and measurements while creating some prototypes.

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Light it Up

  • During 3rd quarter students in Light it Up! learned about switches, their function, and how they are incorporated into circuits to light things up. Using their understanding of switches and circuits, they created circuit schematics for an e-textile project they sewed with conductive thread and Lilypad LEDs and switches. Once they finished this project, they began designing an original game to incorporate Makey-Makey and Scratch programming. Makey Makey Classic works through opening and closing circuits. Using the alligator clips attached to any conductive material you can control the keyboard of your computer, such as the space bar, arrow keys and left click of the mouse.
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Fourth grade broadcasting students have been busy creating SAGE news shows to share with the other classes at the NIC! They have been taking turns in important roles including director, technical director, anchor, floor director, on-air talent and teleprompter operator. Students have also been busy writing scripts, conducting interviews, filming and creating packages, and so much more! You can check out a few of our broadcasts on Youtube at

The Broadcasting OPEN HOUSE will be held on Wednesday, May 15. Broadcasting students and their families are invited to visit anytime between 4:30 and 5:30 PM!

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Fourth graders are working to combine their new knowledge of Spanish clothing vocabulary and adjectives to create a “tienda de ropa” (clothing store). Partners select clothing to sell in their store, labeling and pricing each in Spanish. During our role-play, students will use phrases we've learned in order to buy and sell clothing using play money. Having to complete the transactions entirely in Spanish is a challenge, but one that I hope the students enjoy.