We are pleased to share this section of our website with a quarterly focus on a curricular topic. Learn more about our initiatives and consider ideas to strengthen the home|school connection to our learning outcomes.
Innovation in Action
CENTRAL SCHOOL ROBOTICS CLUB
Central School has enjoyed great success with a new offering this year: Robotics Club. Composed mostly of fifth and sixth graders, this group of students placed 11th out of 30 teams overall at their very first robotics tournament in January. Working since October, the group built a robot to bring to the competition wherein each round, they were given one minute to have their robot move plastic balls and blocks to designated spots on a tabletop to score points. Competition rules dictate that the driver of the robot must switch halfway through and that teams must work in pairs to advance in the tournament. These rules support meaningful opportunities for teamwork and collaboration. Central’s team of young robotic engineers and their coaches, Mr. Smolka and Mr. Pituc, were thrilled with their performance at the tournament and look forward to returning with an even more advanced robot at the 2021 competition.
WEST SCHOOL INNOVATORS FAIR
At West School, third and fourth-grade students are beginning to prepare for the district’s first-ever Innovators’ Fair. Interested students will work individually or in pairs to design a new or improve an existing product. The designs and prototypes will be presented at the fair on April 30th from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm at West School. After introducing the concept of the fair to students, Mrs. Kelly (CLC Director) and Mrs. Durkes (Math & Science Specialist), challenged students to create a solution to stop pencils from continually rolling off desks. In just ten minutes, students created pencil cup holders, scaled-down models of redesigned desks with miniature walls around the edges, and redesigned pencils with square or triangular shapes to prevent them from rolling. We can’t wait to see what these students bring to the Innovators’ Fair!
SOUTH SCHOOL CODING CLUB
On Friday mornings at 8:00 am, second-grade students race into South School for their weekly Coding Club with Mrs. Stalter and Ms. Gibson. Students work in pairs using the coding application Blockly to complete puzzles and tasks using block coding for their robot, Dash, to perform. Student progress is saved weekly so that our young coders can easily pick up where they left off. Coding Club is an opportunity for all students, and we see a healthy mix of girls and boys enjoying the experiences while learning about building perseverance through problem solving and collaboration. Coding Club promotes a growth mindset and encourages our students to troubleshoot with multiple methods before asking the instructors for help.