STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Using STEAM education results in students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. By exposing our students to STEAM lessons and giving them opportunities to explore STEAM-related concepts, they will become successful in our technological society and develop knowledge and understanding of the disciplines that help build our world. 

STEAM: Eighth Grade Animation Projects

The eighth grade students worked hard to create short animation videos for their final project this year. This was a multistep project that took some time to complete. First, each team of animators had to create a storyboard to plan out their production. Then, the students had to fashion characters either from non-drying clay or legos. The characters and any backdrops that they created helped them to to tell their story.

The students used an iPad app called My Create to shoot their animation footage. For some of the projects, many hundreds of shots were taken using the app. The video footage was uploaded to the desktop computers via dropbox and then the young animators did some final editing, voice overs or captions in Windows Movie Maker.

This project called upon the students to use lots of creativity, problem solving, and perseverance. All concluded that animation is way harder to accomplish than it looks, but most were pleased with their first foray into this technology. They all came away with new admiration for such films as Toy Story, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep now that they understand what must have gone into those productions. We learned one "gee-whiz fact" when we found out that it took 400 animation artists 40 months to complete Chicken Run, which is a full length feature film that uses claymation.

Take a look at some of the eighth grade animation creations by visiting this website: Eighth Grade Animators.

STEAM: Hatching Chicks!

The dedicated “mother hens” in Mrs. Gottardo’s first grade classroom and Mrs. O’Hara’s Science Lab were thrilled to welcome many baby chicks into the world during the week of May 7. Beginning on Monday, May 7, the chicks began to peck their way out of the shells that have been carefully tended for 21 days.

In the first grade classroom, the eggs were manually turned three times per day by Mrs. Gottardo. The Science lab used an incubator awarded from a grant that Mrs. O’Hara and Mrs. Gottardo applied for. That incubator was equipped with an automatic egg turner.  Both hatcheries were quite successful. The first grade classroom welcomed 22 baby chicks and 16 hatched in the Science Lab.

The children will continue to observe the chick growth and development for another week or so. The whole school gets excited about watching this miracle of life (in fact, the first chick to hatch in the Science Lab was named Miracle). Science is very thrilling when it happens before your eyes!

Chromebooks Add to Our Technology Integration for Learning

We are pleased to offer a one to one Chromebook program for our junior high students in sixth through eighth grade.These devices enable teachers to deliver content and learning opportunities enhanced by technology all day long. They will further boost student's technology skills and empower our children to do increasingly complex and creative work.
 
There are additional Chromebooks available in the Collaborative Learning Center so that children in grades three through five can also have occasional experiences with these devices.  Our students experience computer use on regular PC computers, iPads, and now also Chromebooks. They will be prepared for a variety of technology platforms when they leave our school.