Innovation Tech Camp Brings High-Tech Education to Campus

During the week of June 11-14, we were thrilled to host another fabulous summer camp brought to us by Steve and Debby Kurti of Innovation Academy. Students from TLC and other area schools got to dig deep into the impressive array of 3D printers, robotics, and drone technology that the camp featured. We are also thankful to Bob Merrill of BC Machining LLC in Brasstown. He lent his time as featured speaker to talk to camp participants and share the innovations he has developed over 35 years in business. Thanks to all who bring such amazing content to our Community of Learners.

Innovation Tech Camp Set – June 11-14

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.

Our Own Winter Olympics

The official 2018 Winter Olympics have long been over but not so in the minds of students at The Learning Center Charter School. That’s because students studied, crafted, planned and participated in their own Olympic Games back in February.

Over the course of three weeks, students studied the history of the Olympics, studied Geography when choosing countries to represent, and got up close and personal with the science behind bobsleds as they engineered and constructed their own. The brainchild of PE teacher, Shelley Dockery, the Olympic Games engaged students so much so that many teams participated in after school work sessions.

The Olympic Games began with the running and lighting of the torch followed by a parade of athletes around the school.  Second graders took turns relaying the torch and two kids from the class that consistently display exemplary character and sportsmanship had the honor of placing the torch in the cauldron. Third graders created an Olympic ring banner that was carried behind the torch. Fourth through eighth graders divided into teams representing nine countries that proudly displayed their flags and native costumes during the parade. Kindergarten and first graders cheered and waved flags during the parade. As the parade approached the gym, each country was announced to a panel of Learning Center alumni judges who decided “Best in Show.” The entire school was present to watch the bobsled and curling competitions while iceless dancing, biathlon and speed skating competitions were performed the following day during PE classes.

“Students took real ownership of the Olympic Games,” said Dockery. “This has been the best, most productive, 100% participation STEAM PE project yet!”

The acronym, STEAM, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Agriculture, and Math.

3rd Annual SCHOOL MAKER FAIRE Revisited

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.

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 naturallygrownkids.org/school-maker-faire.

Gear Up for SCHOOL MAKER FAIRE 2018

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!

Gifted Students at TLC Start “Maker Projects”

AIG students at TLC

The Learning Center Charter School teachers, Monica Gatti and Melisa Paul, know that academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) students should receive enriched educational offerings. That is why these students at the school participate in the AIG Makers After School Program.

Within the program, each student is doing their own “Maker Project.”  A maker is an umbrella term for independent designers, inventors and tinkerers. Technology has made it possible to learn, connect with others, and distribute ideas and products without middlemen like manufacturers and these Makers are finding ways to share ideas worldwide. AIG students at The Learning Center are independently joining this Maker Movement with their projects.

Gatti and Paul are facilitators that help each student through the process of brainstorming, researching, planning, creating and presenting. Students will document their process and present at the school’s annual School Maker Faire in the Spring. Additionally, each student will be connected to someone in the community that is knowledgeable on the specific project content or idea.

To date, these gifted students have chosen Maker Project topics that range from stop motion animation to in depth studies of Leonardo DaVinci.

Gatti says, “I am so excited that the students are choosing a Maker Project based on their own interests. This will allow the students to dive deep into a topic they are interested in and then share it with the public at our School Maker Faire in March. These projects will help students learn how to search for information, seek advice from experts, and learn to overcome challenges along the way. These are all qualities and skills the students will use to be successful for the rest of their lives.”

To learn more about AIG at TLC, click >>>HERE<<<.

Halloween Maker Events

Monster Maker winners

Being a Maker is what E-STEAM learning at TLC! is all about. We want all of our students to engage in the kind of hands-on learning that inspires natural curiosity and develops the skill to create and innovate. Each year for Halloween, we host Maker events that challenge and inspire the Maker spirit in our classrooms.  This year students could enter the Monster Maker contest, several categories of costume contests and a pumpkin carving contest.

Honorable mention in traditional category

While the challenges were not mandatory, teachers had the opportunity to use them as Project Based Learning opportunities in the classroom. Students could work on these challenges at home, in groups, as individuals, or with their families. We strongly encouraged all students and teachers to participate in these challenges, and be part of creating a handmade, hands-on experience for our Community of Learners!

Pumpkin carving winners

Students stretched their creative skills to the MAX to make monsters out of used materials! Upcycling means taking things we usually send to the landfill and recycling them into wild, creative, and sometimes useful art. Anything you can find and repurpose was allowed in this contest!

winners 1980s category

The pumpkin carving contest was back this year too!

winners group category

The costume contest categories included traditional, Maker Challenge Yearly Theme of the 1980’s,  upcycled costumes, and group themed costumes.

winners teachers winners traditional category Winners upcycled Honorable mention upcycled IMG_6357

Fun was had by all!