Research: One of the hottest new trends in education is based in the maker movement, an extension of “do-it-yourself” culture. It combines the elements of shop class, the arts, engineering, and home economics to promote creativity and teach real-world skills within the school day. The school offers a space where tools, supplies, and other resources are available for students to tinker and experiment with. These hands-on learning opportunities introduce new hobbies and passions to students, and according to Roland Barth of the Harvard Principals’ Center, develop risk taking, purposefulness, the ability to pose important questions, freedom, hard work, collective learning, leadership, and a sense of responsibility for one’s self and others.
Practice: Last year we applied for a received a grant from the Glendorn Foundation to bolster hands-on learning. We will be creating maker spaces at both campuses that offer tools, supplies, and other resources to tinker and experiment with outside of class. We see great potential in this project as so many of our students are experiential, or hand-on, learners. At the South Campus activity centers will provide choice in how students spend their time during their activity/study period. At the high school breaks in their schedules will offer time for experimentation.
In December, Erin’s biology class learned how to tie several fishing flies from Chrysalis student, Peter Anderson. Before tying a fly, fly fishers must know about fish feeding and territory behaviors as well as insect life cycles. Peter taught the class how to tie a midge dry fly called the Griffith’s Gnat and the ever popular Woolly Bugger, which is a wet fly or streamer. The class completed this project in two class periods.
Peter enjoys spending time in many outdoor activities. Fly fishing is one of his favorites. He recently built his own fly rods. Thanks for teaching us Peter!
There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a butterfly break free from its Chrysalis and emerge into the world! On Friday, our South Campus students experienced this phenomenon first-hand on their monthly field trip at the Pacific Science Center. Our students enjoyed the day exploring new concepts, participating in exhibits and experiments while expanding their knowledge. The invigorating day came to an end by laying under the stars in the planetarium, watching the lights illuminate the skies and sharing observations from the day’s events.