Engineering Camp & Mini Maker Expo Coming Soon!

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The Learning Center! in Murphy, NC is one of nine stops across the U.S. for Engineering Camp, for rising sixth graders to twelfth graders. For four days, from July 17-20, from 9am to 4pm, Murphy area Engineering Camp students will be immersed in hands-on learning, using emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D CAD design, artificial intelligence, programming and physical computing in a fun and challenging environment.

AND, Mini-Maker Expo is Monday, July 17th from 6:00 – 8:30pm at our school and is geared for young inventors and makers from 1st grade through rising 5th graders.  The Murphy Mini-Maker Expo grabs kids by the eyeballs and sucks them into the world of inventing–2017 style!  No boring books or lectures or videos. Kids get their hands on 3D printers, Blinking LED art, and digital design software for making their ideas come to life.

The Mini-Maker Expo is designed as an eye-catching introduction to the world of innovation and inventing.  For two hours, kids are immersed in hands-on simulations designed to spark curiosity.  The energy in the room is crackling with excitement.  Sign up now before the seats are all taken.

Spots are limited, so call The Learning Center! Charter School at 828.835.7240 for more information and sign up your bored teenager now!

Have Bored Teenagers at Home This Summer?

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The Learning Center! Charter School has discovered the secret weapon for teen inventors that’s catching on across the country. Four years ago, the school teamed-up with California based high-tech education company, Table Top Inventing to challenge area students with hands-on experiences in emerging technologies. The company’s traveling science workshops, called Engineering Camp, is the brain-child ofTable Top Inventing founder and CEO, Steve Kurti, who grew up in and around Murphy and Franklin, NC.

Each year, The Learning Center! partners with Table Top Inventing as part of the school’s themed summer enrichment offerings.Engineering Camp is designed to challenge students and inspire a generation of kids to be tinkerers, explorers, innovators, and deep thinkers.

According to Table Top Inventing, “Teens that join Engineering Camp develop the tools to thrive in a challenging environment. Some of our past campers, who had never been exposed to engineering, ended up pursuing degrees in STEM-related fields after attending. Hands-on experience, team-building exercises, fun and challenging environments — Engineering Camp has it all.”

The Learning Center! in Murphy, NC is one of nine stops across the U.S. for Engineering Camp, for rising sixth graders to twelfth graders. For four days, from July 17-20, from 9am to 4pm, Murphy area Engineering Camp students will be immersed in hands-on learning, using emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D CAD design, artificial intelligence, programming and physical computing in a fun and challenging environment.

Spots are limited, so call The Learning Center! Charter School at 828.835.7240 for more information and sign up your bored teenager now!

For more about The Learning Center!, visit naturallygrownkids.org

Inventor Camp 2016

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In June, area students in 6th – 12th grades converged on our campus to be part of Inventor Camp 2016.

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The brain child of Table Top Inventing, Inventor Camp operates on the premise that teens are explorers, tinkerers, innovators, and deep thinkers. The Table Top Inventing approach is to encourage Maker Learning. Maker Learning puts kids squarely in charge of their own education by providing an environment where growth naturally occurs through the process of “hard fun”. Working with their hands, hearts, and heads, students collaborate and learn with each other to solve challenging problems.

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During Inventor Camp 2016 students used 3-D design software,  3-D printers, robotics, and Arduino Electronics (an open-sourse platform for building electronics projects) on a mission based on the popular blockbuster movie, “The Martian.”

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Steve Kurti, self-proclaimed “Chief Maker and Mad Scientist,” holds a PhD in physics and has an undergraduate minor in education. Together with his wife, Debby, who has a Masters degree in Educational Technology, make a dynamic team committed to creating interesting learning activities focused on the cutting edge of emerging technologies.

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All the student inventors in attendance took the concepts of “Maker Learning” and “hard fun” to a new level and had a absolute blast!

School Maker Faire Recap

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A TLC student gets a helping hand in making her motorized solar system hang correctly.

On March 10, 2016, our school hosted our first School Maker Faire. Over 40 makers were on hand for the event and it was a rousing success. A special thank you to our wonderful community of makers that made this event possible. The hands on activities, demonstrations, delicious food and engaging conversation made for an inspiring and educational evening for everyone who attended.

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Students from TriCounty Early College showed off their Gravity Games cars.
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Prepping the hover craft!
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Working hard to assemble the Arduino radio.
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Did you see the amazing aluminum can foundry?
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There were several live performances including clogging, skits and music.
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The Mashburn brothers brought their race car and were on hand to view the Foody 500.
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The Foody 500 participants and winners!
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Making shingles for a Tiny House on display.
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The hand build wood fired oven was put to good use.

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Seeking Tech Enthusiasts for School Maker Faire

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An array of items made with a 3D printer at The Learning Center’s summer Inventor’s Bootcamp, hosted by Steve Kurti. Mr. Kurti will discuss his unique brand of Making at the School Maker Faire on March 10.

The Learning Center! Charter School will host a School Maker Faire® on March 10th from 3:30pm – 7:30pm. The event is part of a network of Maker Faires that happen across the globe every year. Designed to bring innovative, resourceful people together to share their love of “Making,” these Faires have been described as a combination of science fair, craft show, tech conference, and county fair – all rolled into one! So far, 27 Makers have signed up to show off their innovations, performances, and crafts at the School Maker Faire. “An exciting lineup of Makers is beginning to build,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre, “while we have a strong crew of traditional Makers, we are still looking for additional high-techies to submit proposals.”

From computer programming to 3D printing to creative circuitry, The Learning Center invites the public to share their innovations at the School Maker Faire. To submit your project, go to www.naturallygrownkids.org and click the link in the School Maker Faire section.

In addition to the Maker booths, meal Makers will provide delicious, affordable treats. The Faire will feature a number of performances including musicians, dancers, actors and special guests who will discuss Making in their unique jobs.

One of those special guests is Mark Conde, assistant dean of information services at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Conde, who works closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will show attendees the fascinating inside world of “Making at the CDC.”

In addition, special guest and WNC native, Steve Kurti will join the Faire via Skype to talk about “Table Top Inventing” and educating tomorrow’s Makers. Kurti has brought “Inventor’s Boot Camp” to The Learning Center’s campus for the past two summers. To top it all off, Learning Center students will race edible cars in a pinewood-derby style race called The Foody 500.

If you don’t consider yourself a Maker but still want to support the School Maker Faire, volunteers are warmly welcomed. The Learning Center invites the public to help make the Faire a community success. Mark your calendar for the School Maker Faire happening at The Learning Center! campus on March 10, from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org or contact the school at 828.835.7240

Calling all Thinkers, Tinkers, Inventors and Makers!

b4777cfb-1cc7-47f8-a6c7-376c61f7375bImagine a science fair, craft show, tech conference, and county fair, all rolled into one and you can picture a Maker Faire. These events, which began a few years ago in California, have been growing in popularity around the globe. The School Maker Faire® attracts tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, crafters, students, educators, artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, and commercial exhibitors. Makers come to show their creations and share what they’ve learned. The Learning Center! Charter School is an official host of the very first School Maker Faire to come to Murphy. The event will be held on Thursday, March 10th, at 3:30 pm.

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As an “E-STEAM” (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Agriculture, and Math) school, The Learning Center! emphasizes learning through doing. Providing opportunities for participation in the Maker Faire Movement is the perfect way to engage and excite students about the world around them. “Our goal is to help students to make innovative, positive change in our world,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre, “and a School Maker Faire is the perfect way to celebrate making and its potential for positive innovation.”

As students work on plans for their own Maker projects for The School Maker Faire, The Learning Center is spreading the word for a call for Makers from the greater Community of Learners. The School Maker Faire isn’t just a student showcase, it is a chance for Makers of all ages to come together and share the joy of creating. The school invites the public to submit a project proposal and be a part of The School Maker Faire. Demonstrate a craft, showcase an invention, teach others how to make something, bring something edible, or just come check out the fun! The sky is really the limit at a Maker Faire!

The first step to being a part of The School Maker Faire is to visit The Learning Center website: www.naturallygrownkids.org. On the home page, you’ll see The School Maker Faire logo and a link to “Submit a Project Proposal”. Contact The Learning Center office at 828-835-7240 for more information.

“Makers are going to make” at the School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 10th, at 3:30 pm! Join the fun as part of the Maker Team.

The Learning Center! Offers Rich Program Across All Districts

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The Learning Center! Charter School continues to break ground with innovations that present parents and their students with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. Ambitious facility improvements designed for rich academic opportunities continue to take place on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center! offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment. 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.

Director Mary Jo Dyre is particularly proud to announce a Kindergarten Montessori Blend Program. “We have had such consistent, strong success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus, that we wanted to continue the Montessori Method into Kindergarten, which we believe works best for young learners.”

Learning Center’s “Above and Beyond” programs include Compacted Math Classes for gifted students, “MusicFriday” guest musicians program, K-5 chorus, links to a variety of instrument lessons, the opportunity to audition as a GrowZone Player in the school’s drama program, and upper-grades electives.

More extras including National Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind teams, “Academics and the Arts” artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program, upper-grades electives program, Writers Club, “Girls on the Run” and “Girls on Track” provide students with the possibility to become all that they can be.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), the school places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. Last year, the school built a new Gymnatorium and “Makers’ Space.” The 4,500 square foot building serves as a half court gym as well as useful space for assemblies, drama performances and more.

The Learning Center serves approximately 200 students and is open to both in and out-of-county students. There isno 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 “Inventors Boot camp” and Intervention programs are also offered.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call 828.835.7240. Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org, their blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage).

“Inventor’s Boot Camp” Offers Students High-Tech Summer Enrichment

 

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You might want to call The Learning Center! Charter School’s “Inventor’s Bootcamp” a “fitness program for the brain.” Now in its second successful year, the four-day Inventors Bootcamp challenges area middle and high school students with hands-on experiences in emerging and highly innovative technologies.

The Learning Center! has partnered with California based, high-tech company, Table Top Inventing as part of the school’s themed summer enrichment offerings–open to all area students. Inventor’s Bootcamp, the company’s traveling science workshop, is the brain-child of Table Top Inventing founder and CEO, Steve Kurti, who grew up in and around Murphy and Franklin, NC. Inventor’s Bootcamp is typically only offered in large cities but Kurti is interested in giving back to the area from which he hails and has brought this valuable experience to students in rural western North Carolina.

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Table Top Inventing’s mission is to inspire a generation of kids to be tinkerers, explorers, innovators, and deep thinkers by helping them develop the knowledge, skills, and mindsets they need to become world changers.

Kurti, self-proclaimed “Chief Maker and Mad Scientist,” holds a PhD in physics and has an undergraduate minor in education. Together with his wife, Debby, who has a Masters degree in Educational Technology, make a dynamic team committed to creating interesting learning activities focused on the cutting edge of emerging technologies.

This year’s line-up is designed to challenge students and keep their thinking skills in tip-top condition over the summer break. Some program offerings include robotics, 3-D design, how to use 3-D printers, how to create simple artificial intelligence, computer programming and microprocessors, and Arduino Electronics (an open-source platform for building electronics projects used by people just starting out in electronics.)

The program experience promises a new outlet for more creativity, self-directed critical thinking skills, and exploration of the unknown. An important note, pointed out by the school’s director, Mary Jo Dyre is that, “No technical experience is necessary.”

Murphy is one of only four stops across the U.S. for Inventor’s Bootcamp. The project originates in Phelan, California.

Inventor’s Bootcamp is a four-day program open to all area middle and high-schoolers beginning Monday, June 15 and running until June 18. Registration is required and closes Friday, June 12. Special reduced pricing ends May 29th so register by then to take advantage of the savings. Learn more about about the program and costs by clicking <<<HERE>>>  or call The Learning Center! at 828-835-7240. The school also offers a wide variety of summer enrichment programs for 1st through 8th graders. Call for details.