Classroom Resource: I.D. Cards

Security is taken seriously at High-Tech companies. One measure they take to help ensure security is to issue photo I.D. badges for each employee. Eventually the students will be creating an identity for each of their team-pairs (name, logo, slogan, I.D. badges, etc.) that we'll treat as robotics start-up companies. However, forming optimal team-pairs can take some trial-and-error over the first few weeks of a new class, so you may not be ready to jump into this activity right away. The following is an idea for I.D. Badges for the first days of school (adapted from Scott LeDuc, Capital High School, Olympia, WA) which can serve many purposes:

  • judge students' ability to follow instructions
  • judge students' computer skills
  • allow students to do some self-reflective learning
  • help the teacher learn student names more quickly
  • allow the teacher to better understand their students as individuals
  • provide students an icebreaker to use; we paired/grouped with students they do not know yet
  • create a professional STEM environment by having everyone wear I.D.Badges

The activity involves using a web site to create playing cards with the student's photo embedded in them. A Yu-Gi-Oh card site is used here, but others are available. The students identify their personality type (see attached pdf) and learning style (see link below:  through surveys. The two suggested here are targeted at 7th graders, but there are many more sophisticated ones available on line for advanced students (Note: the learning style survey has one question on smoking - have students substitute "chewing gum" to answer this question). In this I.D. Card example, students are also asked to list their hobbies, interests, sports, etc. and "If you were a Superhero, what would your power be?". This creates a unique snap shot of each student for the teacher, and provides a script for shy students to use when meeting others for the first time. Some teachers also print a second set of cards to serve as a  random student selection tool (pulling a name from the deck) which not only gives the teacher new student's picture and names, but also a quick insight into the unique individual they are interacting with. The attached I.D. Card Maker Instructions PowerPoint provides a sample screen shot to walk students through, step-by-step instructions for students, and a scoring key if this activity is graded. The instructions presented here assume shared USB drives are used to store the photos/cards to avoid having students each create accounts at this web site (in order to save the cards on line). A link to a learning style survey is included, which students complete and then record the result (visual, auditory, or tactile) on their card (see link below). The attached  Personality Survey pdf file is a simple picture-based personality test. Student select an image (or two) that appeals to them, and then they look up the personality types that these present. If students agree that the description is representative of them, they select one or more of the descriptors (e.g. creative, analytical) to add to their card. The attached I.D. Card Template PowerPoint file lays out 9 I.D. cards on a 8.5x11 page. By right-clicking on each image and using the "Change Picture..." command, student created cards can be inserted and automatically sized for printing. The last two pages are sample back-sides for the cards which can be altered for your school. These cards are sized to fit in standard clear plastic badge holders which can be purchased with lanyards through discount office supply stores for about $0.40/student.