El Tiempo – The WeatherPosted by Ms. Fernandez
After studying the Spanish vocabulary needed to discuss and understand the weather, Grades 3 and 4 built their very own weather stations in the Makerspace. The students enjoyed expanding on what they learned in Spanish class by going deeper into the science of weather and designing their own weather stations. Their simple construction materials included paper cups, popsicle sticks, strings of hair and more.
Kindergarten CirclePosted by Cameron Ross-MacCormack
Kindergarten students constructed a strong but flexible zig-zag ring of carefully crafted of hand-cut Pine and Poplar pieces. Each student snugly fitted nine pieces together on their own, and then saw that each assemblage, like each student in the class, came together and made a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Loose Parts ShedPosted by Cameron Ross-MacCormack
Children of all ages are drawn to these versatile and beautiful new building pieces in our community. PreK-4 and sixth grade students are seen here exploring the possibilities of these dynamic learn-through-play loose parts materials which inspire creativity and support imaginative play. A gorgeous autumn day is the perfect outdoor learning space for our children.
A Block of TimePosted by Faith Barbuto
For the past several months our kindergarten makers have been spending time working on a project that encompasses all the skills we have developed this year. First blocks of wood were measured and sawed, then sanded down and painted. Students used rulers to mark one inch intervals and carefully hammered holes into their blocks. Next came the time to use screwdrivers as we added a battery compartment to the side of each block. Moving on to our study of electricity students used wires and led lights to build real working circuits!
Riding Into SpringPosted by Michelle Lamb
“Everytime I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race.” H.G. Wells is on to something with this quotation: be active, get outdoors, and let your legs take you where your car sometimes can’t.
When fifth grade parent Monika Stokes proposed a workshop teaching kids about safety and care for bicycles, it evoked memories of my 10 year-old self imagining that my bike was really a horse and it could take me anywhere: my friends’ houses, the woods in my backyard that I called “The Ranch,” and up and down the highway I created with chalk in my driveway. More than anything, my bike gave me my first taste of freedom. The workshop would provide so much more than I, or any of my childhood friends, knew about bikes. The fifth grade would become mechanics.
Over the course of an afternoon in the makerspace, Monika, local riders, and a staff member from Danny’s Cycles in Stamford taught fifth graders how to clean and grease bike chains, how to repair a flat tire, about the different types of pedals used, the proper way to fit a helmet and the safety measures needed out on the roads and trails. There was even a station with an assortment of bike parts that the students used to create anything they could imagine. The highlight of this workshop for me was the tire repair competition at the end. Any student who wanted to participate could use what they learned to repair a tire as fast as they could.
I knew that the kids would enjoy this workshop because of the physical nature of it, but I was blown away by which stations they enjoyed best. Students who I never would have expected to get into tire repair were down and dirty trying to master this task. Others really gravitated to using the greasy bike parts for art. Even if they didn’t ride, there was a personal connection to be made in this workshop. I am confident that the skills learned will serve them well at some point in their future: whether they are out enjoying a trail in the woods, playing on bikes with friends or even as an adult with their own kids.
Fifth grade parents, take your child out on a ride or ask them to show you how to fix a bike tube! Don’t worry about getting a flat; they know what to do.
Selecting a Drill Bit and Other Basic SkillsPosted by Jamie Bartels
The fourth grade class has finished cutting out their states on the CNC router.
In addition to vector manipulation, students picked up many basic, practical skills with power tools. Every student had the opportunity to drill holes and screw nails into their wooden board in order to hold it down on the CNC router cutting bed. I am happy to say that no student refused this opportunity. During drilling it was not uncommon to hear students remark, “This is really fun!” or “My parents would never let me do this at home!”
One very basic and exceedingly useful skill students practiced was selecting a drill bit to match the size of the screw with which we would woodwork – try saying that last bit 10 times fast. If you have a power drill and a child in fourth grade, next time you need to drill a hole for a screw or a nail or a dowel see if they can choose the right bit for you!