Penguin Palooza in 2nd Grade

Recently, second graders completed a study of penguins, a week long “Penguin Palooza.” Using learning activities across the curriculum, students were able to read about penguins, write a report, complete a 3D penguin art project, use media and technology to do research, and completed their study by designing and constructing “Penguin Hideouts.”

 The second grade students enjoyed learning about penguins throughout the week and had concluded by the end of the week that penguins are “fascinating and amazing birds.”

4th Grade Science — Minerals

Recently, fourth graders headed outside to The Outdoor Learning Center to study rocks and minerals. They examined different rocks and minerals and used properties such as streak, color, luster, hardness and breakage in order to identify each by name.

School Maker Faire Spotlights Makers of All Kinds, March 15

The Learning Center Charter School is celebrating making of all kinds at their 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 – will have booths featuring their own unique Maker project. There will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, and delicious homemade food.

One group of makers is students in the school’s Pinterest elective. These kids have been taking ideas they find on the popular social media platform and making them a reality during elective time each week. They have used everything from wooden pallets to discarded filing cabinets and dining room chairs to make new, useful and decorative items.  They have built stenciled signs, small shelves and pallet Mason jar holders. Recently, they have begun taking their projects a step further by building furniture.

Shelley Dockery, a teacher overseeing this group of Makers at the school, says, “Kids are inherently curious and creative. Given the space and opportunity to build and create, they will and you’ll be amazed at the things they make.” Dockery added that much of what these students have made will be on display at the School Maker Faire in March. “Knowing that they will be displaying their makes has pushed these kids’ imaginations into overdrive. They are really looking forward to it!”

The Learning Center is an official host of the third annual School Maker Faire open to the Murphy area and is looking for Makers to join the festivities. The event will be held at the school on Thursday, March 15th, from 3:30 – 7:30 pm. Contact The Learning Center for more information and to enter YOUR Maker project at

5th Grade STEM — Students Use Pop Culture “Escape Rooms” Concept to Learn Science

Fifth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School recently had to use their science sleuthing skills to “escape” from class.  That’s because science teacher, Jay Ward, along with School Success Coordinator, Cheryl Catuto planned a lesson to teach force and motion based on the pop culture “escape room” concept.


An escape room is a physical adventure game in which teams of players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to escape a locked room.  Escape rooms have popped up all over the country including in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

To learn about force and motion, students had to use the clues given to them to open a series of locks to a secret, hidden toolbox. They had to do everything from find the missing words while answering questions to decode clues using 3D glasses in order to find hidden messages and additional clues.

The lesson was concluded by conducting an experiment using Mentos candy and soda water to measure force and distance between variables.  Ward said, “The teamwork and excitement generated by the escape room activity had a huge impact on my students. The game aspect of it made it super fun and has cemented the science concepts into their brains.”


SMF2018- FB Post

It’s that time of year again to showcase you makes at our annual School Maker Faire!

Our 2017 School Maker Faire was a huge hit! We featured a line-up of over 70 Makers – almost double what we had in 2016.

Visit our website to sign up to show your makes at our 2018 School Maker Faire.  Click >>>HERE<<< to be taken to the form to fill out your entry!

Student Run Business on Campus — Coffee Cart


Did you know that there is a student run coffee cart open on Friday mornings?  This coffee cart business is part of a combined functional math and social studies focus.


The business kicked off in late 2017. On Friday mornings, students use a Keurig to brew coffee and hot chocolate from 7:30 – 8:30 am in the Dining Commons. Each cup is $1.00.  The proceeds are used to sustain the business and hopefully fund a field trip at the end of the school year.


This business is giving students the opportunity to practice life skills such as social exchanges, taking orders, sequencing, taking money and making change.


Additionally, these young entrepreneurs are learning about collaboration across grades because there are two upper grades students who offer so much support with ensuring the coffee business goes smoothly!


This coffee business is teaching so much to these young students and is just another example of our school’s commitment to an E-STEAM culture.