Trip to Vartan Gregorian - 5.9.00 (Final On-Site Demo)

On Tuesday, May 9th, the morning on which our demos were due in class, all four of us took a trip to the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in order to demo the near-final version of our project. Over the past few weeks, we have met almost daily to put finishing touches on our project. We found that our fundamental design has been maintained consistent throughout, while we have taken in many suggestions given by our classmates. At the time of our in-class demo, we had the near-final projector and the README ready.

As always, Mrs. Lynch welcomed us with open arms. We had visited the school a week earlier and scheduled an early morning appointment with the school's computer teacher, however, that appointment fell through so we were forced to show the children the program on one of the computers in Mrs. Lynch's classroom. Though this was a minor inconvenience, it did not take away from the success of our demonstration.

Mrs. Lynch began by having Raoul, a boy who has tended in the past to be very apt with computers, play our Buzz!!! program. While it did require some explanation in the beginning, Raoul quickly caught on and understood the functionality of this program almost as well as we do. In fact, as other children later played the game, Raoul (who had it figured out) kept offering them tips both on how to play and on the correct answers. After Raoul, a few more children played the game, and we gradually worked Mrs. Lynch to instruct them (instead of one of us).

We found that when children play the game themselves, they are more likely to play around with the colors and create patterns on the workspace instead of calculating area and perimeter. However, Mrs. Lynch mentioned that that functionality is perfectly ok and that they can learn with her supervision. She particularity liked the Shape button as it offered an organized way to find area and perimeter of increasingly complex shapes. She also found that our tutorial (Help) would be great for showing the children how to play the game for the first time since it had a counter that helps them find the answer.

We decided to work more on Wednesday to finish the few loose ends and to implement counting in the tutorial. We also plan to make the OK! button more prominent at Mrs. Lynch's suggestion. We will complete our on-site installation on Thursday and come to the children's weekly computer class on Friday morning to do a full-scale demo.

Mrs. Lynch really liked our program and acted in a very grateful manner. All 4 of us had a great feeling coming out from the school as we were all under the impression that our program will likely be able to actually make a difference in helping Mrs. Lynch teach her students the concepts of area and perimeter.

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