Lego Design Build I – WeDo Robotics – Matt Hovern

In Lego WeDo Robotics, students were introduced to basic robotics concepts. Students viewed demonstrations of robots and discussed the role of robots in the world and workforce today. Students built basic robots using the Lego WeDo program, which introduces them to the concept of coding basic tasks using simple, easy to understand commands, such as telling a motor to turn on when a motion sensor activates. Using these, students built tops with variable automated speeds, roaring lions, kicking legs, and even their own, uniquely designed robots! View photos from the class here.

Guinea Pig Palooza – LeeAnne Fox

This week, students were busy observing and investigating our class guinea pig, Penelope. We spent time in the beginning of the week researching what Penelope needs to survive, but more importantly trying to understand how we could keep her happy and help her have fun.

We observed that it took a couple days for Penelope to become comfortable playing in our open area, but by Wednesday she was very active and provided us with some noises (guinea pigs have over 7 different squeals) and some great “popcorning” (when they jump and hop in the air, a sign that they are happy and having fun).

In collaborative groups students worked to use recycled materials to design, redesign, build, and test a play area exclusively for Penelope, all the time keeping in mind that Penelope’s safety needed to be included in their designs. Their creations were imaginative and quite complex. We had a movie theatre, car wash, hoops to jump through, a hotel, a maze, an airplane, chairs (made out of yogurt cups) covered in fleece, and tons of interesting creations that Penelope really seemed to enjoy exploring.

I was so impressed throughout the week with the creativity and enthusiasm that the students had while working with Penelope.

View photos from the class here.

Photography Fun – John Trunkwalter

Try to imagine this: a class of 20 energetic, funny, and excited first to third graders practicing newly acquired photography skills during the hottest week of July. What a hoot! This week I was privileged to guide your children through some fundamental photography lessons designed to help improve their picture taking. We talked about some rules of photography, such as using negative space, leading lines and the rule of thirds. We also talked about how creativity sometimes comes from breaking rules. The photography you will see is an expression of their enthusiasm for taking pictures and breaking rules. We had new themes each day and took field trips around the school to experiment with themes like motion and portraiture. We also had a scavenger hunt where we looked for yellow objects. They also enjoyed decorating their own picture frame and sorting through their pictures to find just the right one to put inside. They created a portfolio of their favorite photos. I encouraged them to choose pictures they took that they were proud of and that made them feel happiest. We had a good week. Lots of laughs, excitement, fun and inquiry. View photos from the class here.

Animal Innovations – Kristen Jesperson

After visiting with animals and learning their needs, students used design-thinking to invent objects that could be tested on the animals themselves. To successfully complete this task, students used Design Journals to sketch out their ideas and then created a prototype to implement their thoughts.  Various inventions were made to help improve the lives of hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, and birds. Students had a blast creating these inventions and then presenting them to the class. View photos from the class here.

Clubhouse Architecture II – Steve Wells

In Week 2 of Clubhouse Architecture the scholars enhanced  “Wood City.”  A police station was added with a functional jail cell, along with a nice office for the Chief of Police. A movie theater was also added to the Wood City Mall. The “Wooden It Be Nice” theater is spacious and includes a ticket booth , snack bar, and more. The attention to detail was terrific as students constructed a screen, benches, and a VIP seating area. A surround-sound system made of “log speakers” topped off the development. The group finished up by building a park with a rope swing, fire pit, and a dog park It was a great two weeks in “Wood City”- just turn left onto Curb Street and you are there!

View photos from the class here.

Musical Theatre – Jen Grasso

View photos from the class here.


View additional Junior Scholars photos here.