Technology Education at Westwood!

We offer an amazing selection of technology options at Westwood Middle School.

We are constantly striving to add more amazing opportunities for our students.

We offer two tech electives, VEX and Digital Technology

Click on the list to the right to see some of when we offer or just browse the page!

Currently Available Programs

VEX Robotics (VEX ONLY)

The VEX IQ Challenge gives students a unique opportunity to explore engineering in a collaborative environment!

A low barrier to entry. VEX IQ is a no-tools system that allows students to prototype ideas quickly - as fast as they can snap them together. Students of all interest levels quickly become wrapped up in the latest challenge. The VEX IQ system was designed with young engineers in mind. They can go from nothing to driving a robot in less than an hour.

Rapid prototyping and sharing of ideas. The best ideas are often copied and improved. The diversity of designs within the classroom and around the world continues to encourage students to revamp and rebuild their designs.

Competitions. Students can compete throughout the year with their creations. We will end each week with a competition as well! There are about a thousand official competitions worldwide every year. We host three competitions of our own here at Westwood, followed by state, national, and world championships.

Job skills for the future. The VEX IQ Challenge is team-based, and students work in groups to complete a robot for the yearly challenge. Collaboration, documentation, and time management are essential to making sure their projects are successful...

And done on time!

Learn more:

The Starter "Claw Bot"
Students then build their own designs!

Encode / Create (VEX and Digital)

A unique coding and computer science curriculum. Students learn real code through fun projects where they make games.

We cover fundamental, intermediate, and advanced concepts. All games are created using the Java programming language, one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

Our lessons and videos focus on teaching students how to learn. They start by showing students step by step, and then guide them towards independent thinking. If a student takes an enCode Create course, they don’t just learn computer programming, they also learn problem solving and how to think like a programmer.

Personalized learning with live instruction. Students learn better when they have a good teacher. That’s why we offer live online sessions with expert instructors. Each session is personalized to meet students’ needs, whether they are just starting out or quickly becoming an expert.

Learn more at!

The Climber Lesson

VEX VR (VEX only)

Learn Computer Science from Anywhere

VEXcode VR Computer Science Level 1 - Blocks is an introductory course where students use VEXcode VR to learn and practice computational thinking and coding.

Each lesson within a single Unit provides a scaffolded approach to the CS concept, leading students to complete independent challenges to apply what they have learned.

Using the VEXcode block-based coding system, students are able to get started instantly with their coding journey.

The VR - Virtual Robot!

Fablevision Amimation-ish (VEX and Digital)

Animation-ish is an easy-to-use, web-based animation program that inspires creativity, and allows students in grades K-12 to "show what they know."

Created by Peter H. Reynolds, author of the Creatrilogy books (The Dot, Ish and Sky Color), Animation-ish was designed to:

  • Spark creative thinking and imagination.

  • Provide engaging activities that integrate creativity across the curriculum.

  • Help teachers create exciting lessons that represent content visually.

  • Boost technology literacy skills.

  • Teach basic concepts in animation and graphic design.

Learn more at:

Students learn digital animation through hands-on activities

ICT Curriculum (VEX and Digital)

ICT Essentials Certification

CIW ICT Essentials courses cover 10 technology areas based on the three domains of information, communications, and media technologies. These domains, while having their own importance, contain overlapping knowledge and related expertise. The courses acknowledge the uniqueness of each domain yet embody their interdependence.

Requirements for ICT Essentials Certification

The ICT Essentials certification exam is based on the 10 ICT courses in digital technologies. These ICT Essentials courses may be taken in any order. There are corresponding exams related to the courses that leads students earning a Digital Tool Certificate for the technology. The ICT Essentials courses can be implemented as a stand-alone course or integrated into any lesson, regardless of subject and are aligned to Common Core technology-oriented standards and NAEP standards for Information and Communication Technology.

ICT - Communications Essentials - The ICT Communications Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of basic network functions and Internet connections, Web search strategies, online safety and privacy, Web site content and email communication.

ICT - Computing Essentials - The ICT Computing Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of computers and their functionality, including types and functions of computers and computer systems, computer hardware, applications, file management and the basics of computer networking.

ICT - Cybersecurity Essentials - The ICT CyberSecurity Essentials measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of personal online security and safety, including cybersecurity, securing from threats to computer systems and other topics especially relevant to students.

ICT – Database Essentials - The ICT – Database Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of using relational databases, including row and field structure, data types, tables, queries, data import/export mechanisms, and basic Structured Query Language (SQL) statements for managing and manipulating data and creating reports.

ICT – Gaming Essentials - The ICT – Gaming Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of interactive computer game creation, including design process, criteria and constraint identification, content research, storyboard creation, program flow modeling, program code creation, and result evaluation and modification practices.

ICT – Multimedia Essentials - The ICT – Multimedia Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of designing and creating digital slide presentations, including formatting basics, slide transitions, animation, timing, titling, and integration of images, graphics, audio/video and other compatible files.

ICT – Programming & Logic Essentials - The ICT – Programming & Logic Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the basics of programming languages, including Boolean concepts, truth tables, logic, program structure, pseudo-code, iterative statements and syntax rules.

ICT - Spreadsheet Essentials - The ICT Spreadsheet Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of creating and using spreadsheets, including the purpose of spreadsheets; spreadsheet elements; how to insert, format, copy and move cell data, and format columns and rows; creating and modifying tables and charts; and functions and conditional formatting.

ICT – Web Design Essentials - The ICT – Web Design Essentials certification measures knowledge and skills in the basics of designing and creating basic Web sites, including Web page elements, page layout, use of color, graphical user interface (GUI) tools, integration of multimedia, HTML coding, navigation and site publishing.

ICT - Word Processing Essentials - The ICT Word Processing Essentials measures knowledge and skills in the fundamentals of using common word-processing application software, including the creation, editing and design of documents; the use of text structures; and collaboration on word-processing documents.

Mindtap Microsoft Office Training (Digital only)

Shelly Cashman Series® Discovering Computers & Microsoft® Office 365 & Office 2016: A Fundamental Combined Approach

Now you can combine strong computer concepts from the best-selling DISCOVERING COMPUTERS with proven step-by-step instruction on Microsoft Office 2016 in one convenient book. DISCOVERING COMPUTERS & MICROSOFT OFFICE 365 & OFFICE 2016: A FUNDAMENTAL COMBINED APPROACH delivers the best of the acclaimed Shelly Cashman Series in a single resource. As part of the Series that has effectively introduced computer skills to millions of students like you, this book encourages critical thought, personalization, and experimentation with the latest Microsoft Office 365 and Office2016 software. Updated and revised computer concepts content throughout this edition reflect the evolving needs of those learning computing today with an exclusive focus on the skills you need to be successful in college and beyond. Enhancements to the book and accompanying resources ensure DISCOVERING COMPUTERS & MICROSOFT OFFICE 2016 delivers today's most effective introduction to Microsoft Office 2016.

We focus on the following programs with hands on projects:

  • Powerpoint

  • Word

  • Excel

  • Access


Coding in Minecraft

Coding in Minecraft Measures knowledge and skills in computer science and coding through game-based learning.

Rapid Prototyping & 3D Design

Rapid Prototyping & 3D Design Beginner Computer-aided drafting design and prototyping. Topics assessed include digital literacy in SolidWorks or Inventor, 3D design and concepts in additive manufacturing/3D printing.

FabMaker Studio Certification

FabMaker Studio Certification Technology characteristics and scope; engineering career pathways; design process; and FabMaker Studio software.