The Learning Center Charter School is one of nine stops across the U.S. for Innovation Tech Camp for rising sixth through twelfth graders. For four days, from June 11-14, Innovation Tech Camp students will be immersed in hands-on learning. They will use emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D CAD design, artificial intelligence, and computer programming in a fun and challenging environment.
Innovation Tech Camp was co-founded by California based Debby and Steve Kurti who like to inspire a new generation of tinkerers, explorers and innovators. Originally from Franklin, Steve and his wife have hosted the camp here in Murphy since 2014.
Each year students at the camp are presented with a complex fictional scenario. The group is then placed onto varying teams to ultimately solve the problem by designing equipment, programming robots, 3D printing components and navigating a solution through trial and error.
“We create challenges worthy of their intellect with tools powerful enough to hold their attention,” said Debby Kurti. “This is the best experience to jumpstart your teen’s curiosity and technical skill.”
Innovation Tech Camp is part of the Kurti’s nonprofit organization called Curious Student Foundation. The Foundation helps provide scholarships for kids eager to attend camp. The Curious Student Foundation never turns away kids that cannot pay. In fact, about 50% of students at the Murphy based camp receive funding each year through their scholarship program.
To learn more about Innovation Tech Camp set for June 11-14, 2018, visit www.naturallygrownkids.org/innovation-tech-camp. You may register online at that address. Feel free to call 835-7240 to find out more and inquire about scholarship opportunities.
The Learning Center Charter School was awarded a $1,000 grant from NC Beautiful on February 13, 2018.
NC Beautiful has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 40 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts across the state. The organization concentrates on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower North Carolina citizens to preserve the natural beauty of the state.
Since 2003, the charter school has provided outdoor education for all of its students. The grant money will be used to enhance four outdoor learning spaces: 1) the front terraced garden; 2) a side garden plot; 3) the aquaponics garden; and 4) a new compost area. In addition to gardening tools such as clippers, shovels and gloves, additional mulch and soil will be added to the listed planting areas.
School Director, Mary Jo Dyre, said, “In this age where “screen time” heavily outweighs “green time,” we carefully craft a school day that allows our students to be outside getting their hands in the dirt as often as possible.”
Outdoor Learning Coordinator at the charter school, Emily Willey, added, “I am so thankful for the NC Beautiful Grant to provide us the funds to continue to maintain the garden beds and the tools to facilitate our spectacular outdoor program. These green spaces provide a much needed opportunity for our students to interact in a real way with the ecosystem around them while also gaining important skills and insights across their academic curriculum.”
High school students at Tri-County Early College High School (TCEC) work on large scale Project Based Learning (PBL) projects throughout each school year. During the third quarter of this school year, that large, school wide project was termed the “Hometown Heritage” project.
TCEC students worked individually or in groups with local residents who know skills, crafts or have specialized knowledge of our geographic area and cultural history. Students took up to ten weeks to plan, research and create their projects. In total, there were 47 different projects ranging in subject matter from natural remedies, Cherokee bow making, hide tanning, to canning, folk songs, weaving and more.
One group, seen here, focused their studies on Appalachian quilt making. In addition to learning about how to make a quilt, these high schoolers also learned about the necessity of quilts, supplies used in times of economic hardships and the social aspect quilt making encompassed.
An additional component of their project included finding a way to encourage young people in our community to become interested in our local heritage as well.
These TCEC students decided to present to our third graders about interesting things about our local heritage and asked each student to create their own quilt block representing something important to them and their unique heritage. Those quilt blocks were then sewn into a quilt and presented to the class.
The quilt is now a beautiful artifact of what the high school and elementary students learned and helped bridge the gap between older and younger generations. The quilt will ultimately be displayed permanently on campus.
The Dome Theater visited our campus on March 6, 2018. The Dome Theater is much more than a traveling planetarium. Developed by Rice University, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and supported by NASA, the Dome Theater is 16ft x 16ft wide and reaches 10ft tall.
Traveling all over the nation, this interactive giant features highly innovative, educational and entertaining programs.
All students viewed hour long educational Dome Theater programming during the school day.
Students and staff enjoyed having the Dome Theater on campus!
Thank you to PI (Parents Involved) for making this event possible.
The Learning Center Charter School celebrated making of all kinds at our 3rd annual School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 15 from 3:30 – 7:30. Imagine a science fair, craft show, tech conference, and county fair, all rolled into one and you can picture a School Maker Faire.
Makers – from Learning Center students to community members – had booths featuring their own unique Maker project. There were hands-on activities, demonstrations, delicious homemade food and live music.
A special thank you to our wonderful community of Makers that made this event possible. The School Maker Faire proved to be an inspiring and educational evening for everyone who attended.
You might remember that Kindergarten students are cooking their way around the world (click here to read more.)
Their social studies continued recently and the next stop was Asia. The students learned about the Philippines and how to make spring rolls with the help of an awesome parent volunteer.
In addition to cooking and eating, the kids had the chance to ask questions and found out many facts about the continent of Asia. They were especially surprised to learn that in Philippines, if someone knocks at your door, they must be invited in and given coffee or tea. In fact, if it’s meal time it is expected that they will join you.
Marshall, Mrs.Maureen’s Pet Therapy dog, comes to school every Friday to be with the students. He enjoys listening to them read, exercising and socializing with them! The students also learn about pet care and the value of having a pet as well as the responsibilities.