In Futurekids Frontiers, the students apply their knowledge of computers in 10 technology areas: applied technology, databases, desktop publishing, graphics, the Internet, multimedia, operating environments, programming, spreadsheets and wordprocessing. Skills in these areas will be required to complete projects related to innovative technologies, archaeological discoveries, exciting sports, global ecology and adventurous destinations.
Module 1 – Technologies
In Technologies, the first of five units, the students use wordprocessing and graphics skills to complete a technology notebook containing nominations for the Institute of 21th Century Technology’s Hall of Fame. The children are introduced to basic wordprocessing as they write a letter, enter descriptions for a timeline, organise the instructions for a science experiment and develop the design for a new invention. As they complete these projects, they enter and delete text; change the text font, size, style and colour; adjust the line spacing; and set new margins. They practice using graphics skills, such as selecting and inserting appropriate graphics, resizing, cropping and repositioning images, selecting and applying different colours, layering objects and using tools to draw shapes and lines, as they create a diagrams, a technological timeline and a school science experiment.
Module 2 – Discoveries
In Discoveries, the second of five units, the students use database skills to discover a hidden treasure. They are introduced to basic database functions as they sort a list of participants for the treasure hunt. In the lessons that follow, they enter collected information into new records and format database tables and forms. By filtering this data, they reveal hidden clues that lead them to the sunken treasure. Once they find the treasure, the pupils organise the contents of the treasure in a database table and generate a report using a wordprocessing application.
Module 3 – Sports
In Sports, the third of five units, the students use desktop publishing skills to create materials promoting a revolutionary new sports arena, Frontier Stadium. They are introduced to basic desktop publishing skills as they create a calendar of sporting events, an advertisement for different sports at the stadium, an entry form for a team-naming contest and a brochure describing the stadium. In completing these projects, the pupils create and manipulate text and graphics frames, add images, create page borders, align objects and rotate text. They also can use their own photographs to design a magazine cover.
Module 4 – Ecology
In Ecology, the fourth of five units, the students use spreadsheet skills to conduct research for a wildlife preserve. They assist in determining how well the preserve is helping threatened and endangered animals. The students are introduced to basic spreadsheet skills as they identify cells by row and column and use the spreadsheet as a calculator. The pupils then perform mathematical operations and create various charts and graphs. They practice their Internet skills as they send and receive e-mail messages and access a Web site by entering a URL. In addition, they apply wordprocessing skills to create reports based on the spreadsheet data.
Module 5 – Destinations
n Destinations, the fifth of five units, the pupils use multimedia skills to create a slide-show presentation promoting a travel agency, Frontier Travel. To complete the multimedia presentation, the students create slides, insert images, add text and sounds, animate images and text, change movement timing, create hot spots, modify background colour, add background images and insert video clips. To personalize their presentations, the pupils record their voices and link the sound files to hot spots. At the end of the unit, the students play the presentations for their peers.