5th Grade Science — Solids, Liquids, Gases

Fifth graders have been learning about the different states of matter — solid, liquid and gas. Ms. Jay read the book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” by Dr. Seuss pausing at the creation of oobleck.  She then told them that they were going to create their own oobleck from cornstarch and water. The students had a blast and learned that oobleck is a “non-Newtonian” substance similar to magma.

5th Grade STEM — Building a Display

Fifth grade students were recently given the challenge of building a tower to display a 3D printed plastic skull in their classroom. It had to be 24 inches tall and hold the skull for 30 seconds without collapsing. Students were given 10 straws and 50 index cards to do the project. By designing, testing, and redesigning, students built impressive display structures and thoroughly enjoyed the project.

Every Student Exposed to E-STEAM Education at TLC

Second graders at The Learning Center Charter School engineer, build, test, design and troubleshoot every day. Why? Because STEM education extends to every student at the school no matter the age.

Second grade teacher, Stephanie Hopper, engages her 7 and 8 year old students with STEM projects regularly.  This fall she will have her students build pumpkin wagons, design scarecrows with specific construction standards that the students must meet, and engineer “turkey hideouts” to avoid the Thanksgiving table.  The activities are seasonal but also fit squarely into the school’s STEM approach to education.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.  Our school takes it a step further by including entrepreneurship, arts and agriculture – E-STEAM.

Mary Jo Dyre, Executive Director, says, “Cultivating an E-STEAM culture is the guiding philosophy for our school and within that we offer an amazing array of learning opportunities for our students – each and every student from kindergarten through eighth grade.”

The STEM activities that Hopper integrates into her everyday lessons are a prime example of that approach. “My students plan, design, engineer, test, and reconstruct each and every day. It’s just what we do.” Hopper adds that no student is too young to be introduced and challenged by this approach. “I’m always encouraging them to expand and improve upon a design. I ask how they can make it better, wider, taller, or hold more weight. The students always rise to the challenge too,” said Hopper.

1st Graders Begin Work on Fairy House in The Outdoor Learning Center

Ms. Emily, Elementary Science and Outdoor Learning Coordinator, and Ms. Katie, First Grade Teacher, collaborate to bring education alive by tying in nature to lessons as well as providing students an education in the greatest classroom of all- the great outdoors.

Recently, the teachers had the first grade students flexing their engineering muscles by beginning construction for miniature fairy houses.

While in the woods of The Outdoor Learning Center so many exciting discoveries happen. Students find interesting animals like slugs, caterpillars.  They find peculiar mushrooms and toadstools.  They inspect the variety of textures of bark, sticks, leaves and roots. They compare and contrast and become enchanted with their experiences developing the story of their fairies needs and housing.

Press “play” below to watch how excited one student is about his work!

Ms. Emily and Ms. Katie were so impressed at how quickly this class adapted to independently working in the woods!

As Seen in the Cherokee Scout School Round Up Edition

Murphy – The Learning Center Charter School, a tuition-free public charter school, continues to break ground with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. On-going facility improvements are designed for rich academic opportunities on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center Charter School offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment.  Students are exposed across the curriculum to 3-D Printers, robotics and coding. The school’s education philosophy includes the belief that all young learners have the right to experience a broad, rich, and rigorous range of academics during the formative K-8 years. Additionally, the school offers an award-winning nutrition program, daily P.E., unique electives and extra-curricular opportunities. The school’s emphasis on healthy living, community involvement and high academic standards is designed to produce future-ready citizens. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties.

The Learning Center’s Montessori Blend Kindergarten program has proven to be a strong approach to instruction for even the youngest learners. “We’ve had consistent success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre.

The school’s programs include Compacted Math classes for accelerated math students, daily PE for all grades, a highly developed drama program, and frequent garden-based learning opportunities across campus and in the school’s Outdoor Learning Center. The upper grade’s CREW Program, in its third year of operation, promotes character development, goal setting and responsible behaviors.

More extras including National Junior Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind teams, ARTrageous and artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program and AIG After School Program provide students with the opportunities to become all they can be.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), The Learning Center Charter School places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The school also has a free breakfast and lunch program available for ALL students.

The charter school serves approximately 200+ students and is open to both in and out-of-county students. There is no tuition for grades K through 8th. The school also features a Montessori private preschool, serving ages 3-5 years. After school programs are available for all ages. Summer Enrichment Programs such as Innovation Tech Camp and intervention programs are also offered.

4th Grade Science — Nutrition and Food

This week Fourth Graders have been exploring nutrition and what exactly makes up food. Here they are seen using an iodine solution to test for the presence of starch in foods. Starch is a type of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body.

They then went to the garden to collect natural materials like wood, petals, rocks and dirt to test for starch as well.

Students use Boston Tea Party to Learn History, Science and Etiquette

Third graders had no idea that they could learn history, science and etiquette from one project all about the Boston Tea Party.  But, that is exactly what they did at The Learning Center Charter School in May 2018.

Emily Willey, science teacher, and Kathleen Shook, classroom teacher, collaborated to create an ongoing project based learning (PBL) project where students learned about the history and importance of tea. Students began the project by planting a perennial tea garden consisting of lemon grass, bee balm, various mints, and roses.  Students researched the science of each plant as well as traditional medicinal properties of the resulting steeped tea.

Students learned that during the Colonial time period, Americans began growing herbs and drinking herbal teas as a patriot act in order to assist in the boycott British teas.  Many of these herbs were native plants that had been used by Native Americans for both health purposes as refreshment.

To conclude their studies, the class held its own formal tea party based on what they had learned about Colonial times, traditions and history.  Community volunteer, Sharon Nifong, taught the class about the customs and etiquette of “afternoon tea.” Students dressed in 1700’s era clothing and used fine china to taste teas made from their own herb garden. They even baked tasty treats using recipes from the 18th century.