I had the opportunity to facilitate a 7th-grade student-led workshop for university credential students. The 7th-grade students were my kids from Emerson Middle School and the credential candidates came from CSU Bakersfield.

The logistics of holding a 7th-grade student-led workshop for university students were actually quite easy, my principal Polo Marquez was excited at bringing in university students, and the Department Chair for Teacher Education, Dr. Kristina LaGue gave me a thumbs up and informed me that CSUB has a partnership with BCSD to facilitate collaboration. My task was to arrange for the actual event within the schedules of the young and adult students. Many of my middle school students catch a bus home and my CSUB students were working in education, so I had a to find a sweet spot in the daily schedule of all parties involved.

I originally started with six students in my after school club and selected my toughest kids. My goal was to bring in the students with a track-record of failure.

Out of the six original students that showed up after school in August, only two of those made it all the way to our workshop with CSUB students in October (some kids moved or were no longer at the school). By September, some very high achieving students asked to join the group and my fellow teacher Cattrice Toles began working with the group. The eventual core of the group was a healthy balance of high and low achieving students with behaviors that were also diverse.

On the CSUB-side of things, I had a total of about 55 students enrolled in my two courses. I kept advertising the event in my class, I literally begged and offered extra credit. On the day of the event, 15 CSUB students showed up. The schools are only about 6 and a half miles apart, so it wasn’t an inconvenience to the college students who live in town.

The workshop itself was designed to be an entirely student-driven session.The middle school students were broken up into different groups. One group taught how to view virtual reality from a smartphone using SketchFab.com, a second group facilitated 3D scanning using an X-Box Kinect and the software Skanect, and the final group taught the adults how to create 3D models with TinkerCad. You can learn more about the specifics in the video below.

Watch

The biggest takeaways from the event were the student interactions.  At the end of the workshop, the CSUB students gave great feedback and focused on how surprised they were that the middle school kids were actually creating the 3D models with ease.  They told the kids about the importance of learning new technology packages and using them to be successful in school. Some parents were in attendance and they were excited to hear the compliments from the university students.

To view the scene below press the play button. You can then rotate the 3D scan or select the virtual reality button on the bottom right to view in virtual reality. The scene is embedded from the website Sketchfab.com and was created using Skanect and the Kinect X-Box 360 scanner.

My name is Edward Gonzalez and I am a classroom teacher at Emerson Middle School in Bakersfield, California and a lead course instructor at California State University, Bakersfield. Currently, I am researching issues related to educational technology equity and pedagogy in my local community through the Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership Program at CSU Bakersfield.