Welcome to the Integrated Computer Science Project at Centennial Academy

Students at Atlanta’s Centennial Academy are taking part in an exciting program, the Integrated Computer Science Project, that uses experiential learning, logical thinking and computers to connect ideas in social studies, science, math and English language arts classes.

Through a unique collaboration between Centennial Academy, Georgia State University, the International Society for Technology in Education and Georgia Tech, third- through fifth-grade teachers are integrating computer science into their lessons through project-based learning, using the same strategies that computer industry leaders use to create websites, apps, games and other digital media. Each grade incorporates digital project-making into thematic units that stretch across different subjects. For example, by combining their studies on the American Revolution and the solar system, fourth-graders created new colonies on other planets in our solar system, inventing everything from laws and government to housing and food supplies. They then compared their “cosmic colonies” to the colonization of the United States here on Earth. They’re excited about what they’re doing, and so are we.

The three-year program is funded by a $1.2 million grant to Georgia State University from the National Science Foundation.

Welcome to the iCS Project. We’re glad you’re here.

what students learned from their first projects

“You shouldn’t just throw things away. When you are finished with them, you can make things from them.”

Jozy, a third-grader, on making recycled products for sale during a project-based unit on financial and environmental stewardship

“We made commercials to convince second-graders to buy our products. We made commercials and had a bank. I liked all of it because it was cool.”

Donovan, a third-grader, on making recycled products for sale during a project-based unit on financial and environmental stewardship

“We picked Earth to make it a better place.”

Naferiah, a fourth-grader, who re-created the colonization of the United States here on Earth

“We had to make a new calendar because a year is only about two and half months long on Mercury. We made up new names for the months and made up a new flag.”

Paris, a fourth-grader, supported “Team Mercury” during the Cosmic Colonies unit

“The Depression was horrible. People lost their jobs and their homes, and went hungry.”

Qahil, a fifth-grader, who created a digital news show about the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression

“I learned not to spend all of my money.”

Carrington, a fifth-grader, who studied the Great Depression through a simulation experience with the game Monopoly that involved calculating and graphing change over time

WHAT IS THE iCS PROJECT?

The Integrated Computer Science Project, or iCS, is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation and led by Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley, an associate professor at Georgia State University. The project provides teachers in the third, fourth and fifth grades at Centennial Academy with the time, resources and guidance to work together to create project-based curriculum that will align with state academic standards while giving students opportunities for creativity, interest-driven innovation and teamwork.

This collaborative project between Georgia State University, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and Georgia Institute of Technology will develop and test a model curriculum that aligns academic learning with ISTE’s standards and computational thinking goals. The project will improve elementary students’ capacity for computer science, academic knowledge and non-cognitive skills (creativity and motivation) as they learn about computer science via a student-centered, standards- and project-based approach to curriculum development.

The strategy is to create curricular units that integrate academic areas and result in digital projects such as video-game making, website development, app making, and digital storytelling. For this project, teachers are collaborating regularly over three years with computer science mentors and science educators to create curricular guides, which will be based on their own efforts and experiences implementing the activities in their classrooms.

The activities will teach students computational thinking while increasing their motivation and interest in computer science-related fields as well as improving academic learning. Each semester, the program will culminate with an annual Exhibit Night at which students explain their projects to parents and guests.

Centennial Academy

The Integrated Computer Science Project, or iCS, is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation and led by Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley, an associate professor at Georgia State University. The project provides teachers in the third, fourth and fifth grades at Centennial Academy with the time, resources and guidance to work together to create project-based curriculum that will align with state academic standards while giving students opportunities for creativity, interest-driven innovation and teamwork.

This collaborative project between Georgia State University, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and Georgia Institute of Technology will develop and test a model curriculum for grades three through five that aligns academic learning with ISTE’s standards and computational thinking goals. The project will improve elementary students’ capacity for computer science, academic knowledge and non-cognitive skills (creativity and motivation) as they learn about computer science via a student-centered, standards- and project-based approach to curriculum development.

The strategy is to create curricular units that integrate academic areas and result in digital projects such as video-game making, website development, app making, and digital storytelling. For this project, teachers are collaborating regularly over three years with computer science mentors and science educators to create curricular guides, which will be based on their own efforts and experiences implementing the activities in their classrooms.

The activities will teach students computational thinking while increasing their motivation and interest in computer science-related fields as well as improving academic learning. Each semester, the program will culminate with an annual Exhibit Night at which students explain their projects to parents and guests.

Centennial Academy’s Strong Academic Program

  • Committed School Partnerships
  • Safe and Nurturing Environment
  • Unique Extracurricular Activities
  • Whole Child Development
  • World Language Program
  • STEM-Focused Curriculum
  • Project-based Inquiry Learning
  • Rigorous Education Program
  • Exceptional, Energetic and Caring Staff
  • Thriving Arts Education Program

Our Partners

LEARN MORE

Centennial Academy
531 Luckie Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30313

404.802.8550

How can you help?

Kids and Computers: We Can’t Do It without You

Are you a graduate student or professional in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math? Remember how you felt when you got your first computer? Please consider sharing your talents and excitement as a mentor in our partnership with Centennial Academy’s Integrated Computer Science Project.

Students at Centennial Academy need your guidance to focus on STEM programs and projects that will provide a rich future for them.

As a Centennial Academy mentor, you would:

CONNECT

Use whatever tool and time you choose to meet with the children – Facetime, in person, Twitter chat groups — whatever works for you and the kids

SHARE

Share your expertise, passion and encouragement for about one hour a month

BOOST

Boost these students’ skills through computer science, inquiry and creativity
VOLUNTEER AS A MENTOR TODAY