Discovery Lab 2012

We had a fabulous group of campers with us at this summer’s Khan Academy Discovery Lab! Campers enjoyed 2 weeks filled with projects, activities, simulations and games with our Khan Academy team and enthusiastic student counselors.

Want to know more about what they did?  Check these pictures and videos out:

Making robots. It was amazing to see the fabulous robots that everyone made in less than 2 days!

Reverse engineering. All it took was lots of enthusiastic engineering minds and a little bit of staff support.  In the video below, Vannesa, Melvin and Greta walk us through the fax machine that they took apart as their final project.

More robots :-). Here’s Arshia with her PAKbot during her final presentation - check out what it does!

Learning Computer Science (Javascript). Philip and Miles tell you more about their Minecraft-inspired program below.

Philip and Miles used our newly-launched Khan Academy Computer Science platform to create their program. Here are a few more explorations that the campers created:

We hope you enjoyed this sample of the many great projects our campers created. If you would like to be kept in the loop for future summer activities, please join our Discovery Lab interest list. We are so very proud of all our campers, and we wish them a great start to the new school year! 


Discovery Lab Video Footage

Khan Academy is having lots of fun at the Discovery Lab. Here is some footage of Sal running a trading simulation at the camp (video courtesy of NY Times).


Soaring Success at Stratford

The 10 year-olds in Rekha Pardeshi’s 4th grade classroom are wild about Pokemon, pillow pets, and… math.  Rekha teaches at Stratford School, a private school in the bay area.  Rekha’s students have been using Khan Academy this year to supplement their math curriculum, but the intention to provide additional math practice has resulted in 4th graders who have soared past their traditional curriculum.

The data from Rekha’s classroom speaks for itself:

  • Combined, Rekha’s class has earned over 10 million energy points among just 13 students
  • Half of Rekha’s class has earned the Magellan badge by completing 100+ exercises
  • 4 students have earned the Copernicus badge by completing 200+ exercises
  • Together, the class has completed over 2000 exercises and watched over 300 videos
  • All students have completed the arithmetic challenge, 10 have completed the pre-algebra challenge, 6 have completed the trigonometry challenge, 3 have completed the algebra challenge
  • 3 students have earned over 1,000,000 energy points, and one has even completed the Calculus challenge badge

How were Rekha’s students able to accomplish this?  What was different about Rekha’s classroom?

Need to see it to believe it?  Shreyansh, below, is one of Rekha’s students.  In this video he explains how to factor a polynomial, and at the end he mentions what he’s learning in his traditional math class and what he has been able to do with Khan Academy.

These students understand an impressive amount of math, but what’s even more inspiring is the joy and enthusiasm they bring to their work.  When asked to show how they feel about Khan Academy, Rekha’s classroom wrote their own song—lyrics and everything—to show their devotion.

Thanks for the song, Stratford students!  And keep up the great work!


Changing learning habits at Oakland Unity

Oakland Unity, a charter school located on the east side of Oakland, has been piloting Khan Academy this year by using a rotational learning lab model.  On a recent test on systems of equations, the class average was double what it was last year, and a deeper dive into the data shows even more promise.

While they’ve seen impressive academic gains, the math teachers have started seeing something potentially more profound: students have been gaining confidence, putting more effort into their work, and taking responsibility over their own learning.  According to Peter McIntosh, the Algebra teacher at Oakland Unity:

When we stopped worrying about whether Khan Academy videos were better than our own lectures or whether the exercises had the appropriate mix of concept vs. drill, we recognized that we had found a powerful tool that reached students and changed their habits in ways we had never even considered possible.

Read more about Oakland Unity’s academic gains and changes in students’ habits in this blog post.  And in Oakland Unity’s second blog post, you can see how this change has impacted individual students.


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