Kindergarten prepared a bed to be a pollinator garden just like the middle school students did! Here they are seen weeding the plot.
In early May, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students spent two days planting pollinator gardens in their garden plots. A pollinator garden is a garden that is planted predominately with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a wide range of pollinating insects.
The flowers include sunflowers, zinnia, dahlias, marigolds, bachelor buttons, cosmos, and four o’clocks. The students weeded, raked, planted, labeled, and watered their new plants. They look forward to seeing the seeds sprout and grow all summer long.
First graders have been working on their fairy houses in The Outdoor Learning Center busily since school started this year. This ongoing project affords rich educational opportunities for these young students.
Imaginative play, self-directed skill building, sharing spaces and cooperation, engineering and construction, are just some examples. Plus, Ms. Emily is always sure to include science as part of the exploration.
This spring these students have been learning about Earth materials. They have used the opportunity to go to the woods check on and repair their fairy houses. Students are finding granite to use as countertops and floors. They have also found interesting organisms like gobs of slime growing on sticks.
Recently, third grade students learned about the life cycles and needs of plants. While working in the garden, students excitedly learned about a larval insect they discovered while digging.
Gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn. Plus, it’s really fun!
Second grade teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, Stephanie Hopper, wrapped up a cross curricular unit on insects with her class earlier this month. Found online, Eddie the Entomologist sent the class friendly letters each day that included clues. Using the clues, the students then guessed what creature was the bug of the day.
Hopper was able to bridge the study of insects across all subjects in her class. In science, students learned about insect life cycles. Numerous books and interactive online reading texts were used by students for research and reading comprehension. Plus, the daily letters from Eddie allowed the class to review and reinforce what they had previously learned about the composition of friendly letters.
In math, students used measurement standards to compare different types of insects as well as jumping distances. Additionally, students put their STEM skills to use when tasked with designing and building their own insects.
Plus, these industrious second grade students wrote acrostic poems using descriptive words to describe insects, wrote a sequence paper on the life cycle of an insect, made terrariums with appropriate habitats for insects to live and did a drawing activity where they were guided, step-by-step to draw, label and color a realistic bumble bee and butterfly.
At the end of the all encompassing insect unit, students earned an “Entomologist Expert” badge from Eddie.
Hopper said, “These students could hardly wait each day to read the letter from Eddie and use the clues to figure out the bug of the day. Using their excitement about bugs across all of our studies engaged them thoroughly in each subject.”
In celebration of Earth Day back in April, Tony Ward of Hiawasee River Watershed Coalition (HRWC) guided the studets on a walk of Murphy’s Riverwalk and explained the difference in native and non-native species. Students also explored why it is important for plants to grow on riverbanks to prevent erosion as the kids learned that dirt is the number one polluter in our rivers. Students learned about many local trees and shrubs and how they all had different methods of spreading their seeds.
Making nests, drinking white pine tea and building solar ovens was recently the order of the day for fifth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School. That’s because field educators from Muddy Sneakers® took the class on a two day expedition into the outdoors.
The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude. Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.
Muddy Sneakers Field Instructors, Dana Bradley and Jace Besold, visited the charter school for two days in March. They took students to the Hanging Dog recreation area to learn about energy. They will be back again to teach the 5th graders about both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Fifth grade science teacher at the school, Jay Ward, said, “The students loved the trip not just because it was fun, but because they were divided into small groups and were really able to focus on what the instructors were teaching. I loved seeing the kids so involved with the activities and enjoying the outdoors. They really did get muddy sneakers!”
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 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.