You might remember that our 5th graders participate in a program called Muddy Sneakers each year. 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.
As part of their ongoing Muddy Sneakers experience, in November students worked with the field educators to learn all about weather. They used the Scientific Method to measure weather changes between two different points in the day. Throughout the days adventures, students learned about cold fronts, warms fronts, stationary weather fronts. They played weather related games, acted out weather related skits and generally had a blast being out and observing weather first hand.
Recently, first graders made airplanes as they studied force and motion. They learned about air friction and how larger forces create larger changes in motion.
Earlier this fall, students in third grade spent time studying early American colonies and built structures based on what they had learned.
Second graders have been studying weather as part of their science studies and are seen here making anemometers similar to what scientists use to measure wind speed.
Recently students in fourth grade used a computer programming kit to make their own musical instrument as they studied electricity and sound as forms of energy.
Back in October, students in first and second grade visited the Mayor of Murphy, Mr. Ramsey. They got to tour his offices and ask all sorts of questions about what a mayor does on a daily basis. Learning about roles within a community are important academic standards for these young students and visiting Mayor Ramsey cemented in their minds the importance of the job. Thank you Mayor Ramsey!
Fourth graders recently experimented with magnets as part of their science studies of energy.
Academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) students receive enriched educational offerings by participating in specially designated AIG time during each week.
Under the direction of Monica Mathews, these AIG students are diligently working on researching topics of their choosing and collaborating on group projects. Stay tuned to see their work at our annual School Maker Faire in the Spring.
8th Graders are seen with Macon County Historical Museum curator Robert Shook during their Venture Out trip to Franklin, NC in September.
Venture Out is a cross-curricular travel and study program for fourth through eighth grade students at the school. It weaves literature, science, history and art with travel and real life experiences. The Venture Out program promotes trips to places and people of interest across the mountain region. The annual upper grades class trip branches out to include travel destinations such as New York City, Coastal NC, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans and Atlanta.
Students in eighth grade experience a robust Venture Out travel schedule that began with the trip to Franklin in September. Students toured the Macon County Historical Museum that is housed in a 1904 building in the town center. They enjoyed a guided tour with special emphasis on Franklin’s unique Civil War history. Students also visited a gem and mineral museum housed in the old Franklin city jail. They enjoyed viewing the expansive mineral, gem and fossil collection housed there.
On October 9th, these students traveled to Rabun County, Georgia and explored the Foxtire Museum and Appalachian Heritage Center. They enjoyed the demonstrations from craftspeople, hands-on activities and learned how people have lived in our mountains for centuries.
Julie Johnson, Expedentiary Learning Coordinator at our school, said, “Our goal at The Learning Center is to create life-long learners who know that there is always something to learn from the world around them.”
The Venture Out activities are chosen to closely align with what students study in the classroom. Venture Out is not a day out of school – it’s a day where school happens off campus.
Johnson added, “Through travel and exploration, we are making our great community our classroom.”
Earlier this year, students in third grade spent many weeks studying systems of the human body as part of their science studies. To culminate the body systems unit, students made skin models. It helped them better understand the function, structure and purpose of skin.