Dear Educators and Families,
Pinnguaq recognizes that this time at home will present many new challenges. To help mitigate these challenges and ease the transition to at-home learning, we have compiled a selection of free resources for your use.
For those unfamiliar with who we are, Pinnguaq Association is a not-for-profit organization that incorporates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) into unique learning applications promoting storytelling, health, wellness, and growth within rural and remote communities.
These resources are intended for educators to use with their students as well as for families to use at home. We’ve included a number of tutorials to create comics, basic video games and 3D models. In addition, there are some activities that do not require a computer and can be done at home.
If you would like to keep updated when new resources are available, please sign up for our Education Newsletter or follow us at @pinnguaq on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also use those social media channels to share with us what activities you’re trying and what the students enjoyed the most.
Pinnguaq’s website contains online resources for STEAM education.
- Introduction to Audacity
Audacity is a free program that allows users to record and edit audio. Students will learn how to navigate Audacity and will understand key concepts and terms.
- Pixel Art 01: Getting Started with GraphicsGale
2D graphics form the basis of most software applications, both in gaming and non-gaming programs. In this module, learners will create a pixel art sprite with physical media and then transfer that image into a freeware program.
- Pixel Art 02: Core Techniques in GraphicsGale
This module expands on the basics of Pixel Art 01, teaching further techniques and terminology, and highlighting some common problems, using the open source software GraphicsGale.
- Pixel Art 03a: Tiling Basics Using GraphicsGale
Students will learn the basics of tile creation using the pixel art skills acquired in modules 1 and 2.
- Creating Voxel Art with MagicaVoxel
Students will learn how to create three-dimensional pixel art with MagicaVoxel. Voxel art is used in many ways, especially in video game design. Minecraft is a great example of a game built using voxels.
- Creating Traditional Métis Dot Art
Students will learn how to create images for video games through a traditional Métis art method.
- Self Care and Video Games
This module introduces the concept of self-care as it relates to the Medicine Wheel, and how video games can be used as a positive outlet for well-being. Students will learn what self-care is from a holistic standpoint, and understand the benefits of playing video games.
- Mario Maker Level Design Basics
Super Mario Maker is a game creation system and side-scrolling video game that uses art assets and mechanics from the Super Mario Bros. series of games. Examine the classic “World 1-1” level from Super Mario Bros. (1985), and how it teaches the player gameplay basics without using any text instruction.
STEAM Publication: Root & STEM
Root & STEM is a free print and online STEAM resource to support Kindergarten through Grade 12 educators in teaching digital skills and trends. Each issue features articles, activities and lesson plans with a specific focus on STEAM education through creativity.
- Root & STEM Trailer
- Digital Version
- Print Version
To sign up for a hard copy of the publication, please email STEAM@pinnguaq.com with your mailing address
A great way to introduce students to coding concepts through non-computer (or “unplugged”) activities. The following is a list of simple activities to introduce coding vocabulary and concepts, like sequential and concurrent events.
These cards provide learners with logic and math visual problems that are fun and engaging. Using sticks, learners will have the opportunity to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve the visual brain teasers. These challenges require you to think outside the box and are difficult to solve but have a seemingly simple solution once resolved. Cards can be downloaded and printed for learners to use independently.
Engineer Your Own Race Car
In this activity learners will create their own race car using recycled and other materials. Learners will explore the idea of storing energy in an elastic band and how that energy can be used to move their engineered race car forward. Learners will engineer their race car to move forward and then create a start and finish line to race their car against others!
Construct A Foosball Game
You will design, create and build a foosball game using recycled materials and other materials. Foosball is a tabletop version of soccer that requires two players. In this game, each player will use rods to steer their popsicle stick players by turning, pushing and pulling the rods to hit the ball into the opponent’s goal. This game of Foosball will have 6 popsicle stick players on each team including the goaltender. Through a series of step-by-step instructions you will use your materials to develop your very own Foosball game.
Unplugged Coding: Binary Encoding
This unplugged coding activity challenges learners to encode different words into binary code. Learners will explore the computational thinking methods of decomposition by breaking down the word (or words) they select into single letters and encoding it into binary code using the binary code key provided to create a secret message!
These Lego Challenge Cards provide learners in grades K-3 with an open-ended task. Using Lego bricks, learners will have the opportunity to create and explore different possibilities with Lego. These challenges explore a variety of areas such as science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Learners will explore STEAM education with limited boundaries. These challenge cards can be downloaded and printed for learners to use independently.
This art challenge is a quick solution to finding your creativity and exploring the depths of your imagination. It’s important to exercise your imagination and take a creative break. Studies have shown that expressing yourself through art can have many benefits to your health and wellness. You might have difficulty finding inspiration for what to create—blank-pages can be frustrating! Have no fear, the blob-art challenge is a drawing exercise that will help you draw freely from your imagination. You will create unique characters and works of art from simple blobs. The goal is to have fun. You never know what will happen when you let your creative spirit run wild!
Unplugged Coding: Craft Stick Puzzle
This unplugged coding activity challenges learners to decode their own puzzle. Learners will explore the computational methods of pattern recognition and algorithmic thinking by creating a picture or word puzzle using popsicle sticks and breaking up the puzzle into its smaller pieces. Once the sticks that make up the larger image are out of order, learners can attempt to solve the puzzle by putting the sticks back into the correct sequence to recreate the picture.
Unplugged Coding: Story Map Sequence
This unplugged activity is geared towards a younger audience and focuses on sequences. Learners will further explore sequences and how we can recognize them all around us—such as in storybooks! Learners will either read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle or watch a short video of the book read by Michelle Obama. They will then complete the provided activity sheet that allows them to create an algorithm with a specific sequence to code through the stages of metamorphosis.
Build a DIY Catapult Design Challenge
A catapult is a simple machine. It uses a lever to move a load around a fulcrum using force. In this activity you will build a catapult that works by converting potential energy into kinetic energy. When you press down on the bottle cap, you add potential energy, and when you release the catapult, you are converting to kinetic energy.
Introduction to Coding Terminology: Kriss Kross Puzzle
Kriss Kross puzzles are grid-based puzzles that require problem solving methods and logical thinking to solve them. This puzzle begins as an empty grid that learners must fill in using the list of vocabulary words provided. Using word patterns and logic, learners will explore basic coding terminology. They will place the vocabulary words into the grid based on the number of letters and letter placement on the grid itself. This activity promotes the exploration of mathematics, letter recognition, spelling and language arts.
Introduction to Coding Vocabulary: Memory Match Card Game
This unplugged activity is geared towards a younger audience with the intention of introducing basic coding terminology through a memory matching card game. Learners will explore basic coding terminology, mathematics and language arts. Traditional memory matching games help learners improve language, concentration and memory, this version also helps young learners begin to develop a strong coding vocabulary.
Scratch is a basic coding language that uses “building block” style coding to create animated stories, interactive games, simulations and beautiful artwork. In using Scratch, learners will be introduced to basic coding concepts and develop their computational thinking skills while bringing their own ideas to life.
Introduction to Scratch Series
In this series, learners will be introduced to the basics of Scratch. If you’ve never used Scratch before, this series is for you!
- Episode 1: Introduction to the Scratch Working Environment
- Episode 2: Deleting a Sprite, Adding a Sprite & Adding a Backdrop
- Episode 3: Make Your Sprite Say Something
- Episode 4: Adding Sound
- Episode 5: Make Your Sprite Fly Around
- Episode 6: Gliding From One Point to Another
- Episode 7: Make Your Sprite Move Left & Right
- Episode 8: Moving Up and Down
- Episode 9: Coding Costume Changes
- Episode 10: Coding Backdrop Changes
Chase Game for Beginner Game Designers
This is a beginner-level lesson introducing learners to game development in Scratch. They will design a simple “chase” game in Scratch where a monkey is chasing bananas around the jungle to score points. Through creating this game, the learner will use:
- Events blocks
- Keyboard inputs
- Touch sensors
- Conditional statements
- Movement blocks
- Sound blocks
Lost in Space Maze Game for Beginner Game Designers
Learners will explore how to create their own maze backdrop, how to move their alien sprite with the keyboard arrows, and how to stop the alien from going through the maze walls. Through creating this game, the learner will use:
- Keyboard inputs
- Touch sensors
- Conditional statements
- Movement blocks
- The Dropper Tool
Hungry Shark Scratch Game for Beginner Game Designers
This lesson is designed for younger learners who are beginners in using Scratch to create their own games. They will design a predator-prey style game where a shark sprite will move around the screen gobbling up a bunch of fish!
Scratch Mix and Match Series
For students who have begun to master Scratch, check out our Mix and Match Series. In each challenge, students will be given three cards. Their mission is to use the code from at least two out of the three featured cards to make their own game or story.
3D Modeling: Blender Print-a-Piece
Get started with Blender and learn how to navigate and apply its tools for the purpose of designing a custom set of dice for printing in 3D.
Comic Creation: Krita for Comics
In this series, instructor Ian MacLean will be guiding you through Krita to make a comic. Learn about all the basics and even some more advanced stuff in Krita, and create a comic of your own!