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!

Visiting Artist Creates Giant Beetle at Learning Center

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Who knew what an old trampoline, some creativity and old-fashioned know-how could turn into? That’s what 5th grade students at The Learning Center! Charter School were saying after they teamed up with visiting artist, Jeff Menzer.

 

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Asheville based artist, Jeff Menzer, visited the school back in February to plan projects he and students would be implementing on campus this spring. Menzer specializes in creating “Re-Art” Sculpture, figurative sculpture, and environmental installations using found objects and industrial discards.

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Menzer worked with the students to brainstorm some ideas for the project with the idea that it would eventually be a bug or insect themed art piece.

 

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Menzer returned to the school recently to turn discarded trampoline parts into art pieces that will become part of the school’s “Outdoor Learning Center” program. The large-scale art piece project serves to involve students in the design process, involve students in collaborative problem-solving of environmental issues through the creative process, and to complete an art piece that has now been permanently installed on campus.

 

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As the trampoline was being taken apart and the parts rearranged, the idea for a beetle began to develop. This concept tied into the 5th grade science ecosystems unit and also the math curriculum as students had to figure out lengths for sections of the beetle structure and the size the beetle needed to be relative to the garden area.

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Each student contributed a name for the beetle sculpture. The two names that were chosen were a common name: The Junkyard Beetle, and the scientific name: Schoolias Beetilus. School director, Mary Jo Dyre has her own nickname for the beetle sculpture. “I like to call it ‘VW.’”

2nd Grade Learns About Alaska

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Ms. Leslie presented her many Alaskan experiences with second grade students. They learned to count to 10 as well as other words and phrases in the Inupiaq language. The children also learned how the local Inupiaq work and live. Ms. Leslie was able to show local craftsmanship, including clothes and trinkets made from local wildlife. The children were given first hand experiences trying on clothes and observing items made by the Inupiaq people.

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2nd Grade Learns About Environment

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Students in second grade completed a project that was all about the environment. The students learned about Earth Day and the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing. Through books and technology, the students were able to research and write about the importance of protecting our environment. They learned that the average person creates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, so the students re-purposed trash to create something new and presented their creations with their classmates.

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Learning Center Visits Asheville, Chattanooga

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The Learning Center! Charter School’s sixth, seventh and eighth graders hit the road on March 14 for a three-day end-of-year class trip to Asheville, NC.

At the same time, Learning Center fourth and fifth graders went the opposite direction and headed to Chattanooga, TN for their class trip.

The Asheville trip, led by teachers and staff including, Ryan Bender, Julie Johnson, Heidi LaCentra, and Cheryl Catuto, started with a visit to Conundrum Escape Room where students participated in a challenging escape room, working together to solve the puzzle of how to “escape” in under an hour.

Next on the agenda, braving the snow and cold, students explored downtown Asheville and Grove Arcade where they enjoyed unique shops and architecture.

Highlights of the trip included The River Arts District for a tour of potters and a painters studios, and a visit to the opulent and historic Grove Park Inn, built in the early 1900s. Students also enjoyed a variety of cuisine. Some restaurants they enjoyed included Ichiban Hibachi Restaurant, Indian delicacies at Mela, and an Asheville institution, The French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

Students found time for exercise at Asheville Fun Depot, an Arcade & Adventure outpost. Members of the group scaled the climbing wall, played laser tag, drove go-karts, played mini golf, and tested skills in the arcade.

Meanwhile, not to be out-done by their counterparts, fourth and fifth graders enjoyed their class trip in Chattanooga with a visit to the Chattanooga Aquarium and IMAX theater. Students toured the aquarium and attended a fun classroom activity called Plankton Power. They watched an Imax presentation about our incredible oceans.

4th Grade Science — Adaptation

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Recently, students in fourth grade learned about adaptation by doing. They explored which food types would be easier to eat with different types of bird beaks. “Beaks” ranged from clothespins to binder clips to salad tongs. Food came in a variety of forms such as beans, corn flakes and noodles. Students got to learn first hand how certain “beak” shapes helped with eating different foods and, as a result, understood the scientific concept of adaptation more completely.

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TLC Celebrates Earth Day

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Students across The Learning Center campus celebrated Earth Day in April by taking a walking tour with Restoration Coordinator, Tony Ward, of the Hiawasee River Watershed Coalition. He taught students how our town monitors and improves water bodies in our area.  Students learned about environmental issues and our local ecology along the river including the efforts being made to stop erosion along the rivers, the benefits of trees, and native and evasive plants.

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Let’s Turnip the Beet!

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Earlier this Spring, these students harvested the beets that they planted as seed in the garden. Ms. Emily took them home and cooked them for the students to eat as well. Growing vegetables is an important way to get young kids interested in where their food comes and try new foods. Way to go students!