Third graders Gear Up for 5th Annual School Maker Faire

Third graders at The Learning Center Charter School read a book about Vincent Van Gogh early in the school year and immediately wanted to try their hand at replicating his famous art. 

Teacher Kathleen Shook tapped into the student interest and has allowed the class to continue their exploration of famous artists.

“After we spent time making Van Gogh replicas, we journeyed into independent studies of artists that interested us,” said Shook. 

The class has spent time looking at photography as art and as a way to tell stories. They have explored different art forms including pottery, metal work, graffiti, hieroglyphics, and ultimately took an interest in installations, or whole rooms that are transformed into art projects. In fact, the class decided to incorporate science into an art project by taking their studies of outer space and transforming their classroom into an art piece that shows off the Solar System. 

The final Solar System art installation will be unveiled at the 5th Annual School Maker Faire on March 12th from 3:30-6:30.

A School Maker Faire is a place to show what you’ve made and to share what you’ve learned with others.  Schools host Maker Faires because they are a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. School Maker Faire exhibitors, or “makers,” are primarily students—either as individuals, clubs, classes or groups.  Maker Faire exhibits can be from any discipline — from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft.

“We have begun planetary research that will lead us into art, and we hope to use QR codes to make the exhibit interactive and educational,” said Shook. 

The community is invited and encouraged to be part of the 5th Annual School Maker Faire set for March 12th from 3:30-6:30 on the campus of The Learning Center Charter School located at 945 Conaheeta Street in Murphy. Visit www.naturally grownkids.org to learn more or call 835-7240 to register to be a Maker at the event.

Don’t Forget: School Maker Faire is Thursday!

We hope you plan to attend. There will be Makers of all sorts on campus demonstrating and sharing what they make. Additionally, there will be spaghetti dinner for sale as a fundraiser for upper grade class trips. It will be fun, educational, and delicious! See you Thursday!

2nd Grade Science – Making Slime

Recently, students in second grade finished a unit in science learning all about the properties of matter. They made slime to see if they could use what they had learned to determine if slime is a solid or a liquid. Interestingly, they couldn’t decide whether it was a solid or liquid because it had certain properties of each.  

3rd Grade Science…and Snack

Third graders recently enjoyed DIY microwave popcorn grown in the TLC garden. An heirloom breed called pappys gems was grown and students microwaved it simply in a brown paper bag avoiding the chemicals often included in microwave popcorn. A science lesson with a snack was a hit for all!

7th Grade Renegotiates the Treaty of Versailles

Recently seventh grade students participated in a lively debate where they renegotiated the Treaty of Versailles.

The Treaty of Versailles was one of the most important peace treaties that brought World War I to an end.

After spending time studying WWI and learning of it’s historical importance, students then got a first hand education on all the important factors and country interests in securing a peace treaty. This process allowed students to better understand what factors were at play that caused the war and the difficulties in ending it.

6th Grade Makes Board Games as Part of Language Arts Study

Sixth grade students recently just finished literature circles. Literature circles like book clubs. The intent of a literature circle to allow students to practice and develop the skills and strategies of good readers.

After the books were finished, students created original board games based on the novels they read.

Calling All Makers for Our 5th Annual SCHOOL MAKER FAIRE March 12th

Last year’s School Maker Faire featured over 75 makers from across the community at The Learning Center Charter School.

The Learning Center Charter School is celebrating making of all kinds at their 5th annual School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 12 from 3:30 – 6:30.

Maker Faire, an official brand and trademark for this worldwide phenomenon, is a celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. It’s a place to show what you’ve made and to share what you’ve learned with others.  Schools host Maker Faires because they are a perfect combination of part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. School Maker Faire exhibitors, or “makers,” are primarily students—either as individuals, clubs, classes or groups. And Maker Faire exhibits can be from any discipline — from science to art to gardening to engineering to craft.

Makers within the community are invited to have booths featuring their own unique Maker projects.

Additionally, there will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, and delicious food available for purchase.  Students in 4th-8th grade will be selling spaghetti dinner tickets  to raise funds for their respective class trips.

Ryan Bender, organizer for the School Maker Faire, said “People in our community are inherently curious and creative. Given the space and opportunity to build and create, they do and we invite you to come out to witness the awesome things they make!”

Bender added that having makers from the community sharing and interacting with the young people make the event truly special.

The Learning Center is an official host of the fifth 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 12th, from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org/school-maker-faire to learn more and sign up to be part of this event.

High Tech Electives

Every semester, we present a different choice of electives to our 5th-8th grade students. Offerings can vary wildly, but our focus in electives is always to give students a place to apply the skills they are learning during the academic day in a fun way. 

Offerings have included Aquaponics, Pottery, Art & Design, Web Design, Drama & Theater Arts, Knitting and Crochet, Hiking, Forest Management, Puppetry, Primative Skills, Coding, Chess, Cooking, Robotics, Choral Singing and many more.

This semester we offer Coding as an elective. Beginners started with Scratch and more advanced coders began using Microbit/JavaScript. Students started with learning the language then creating cat art. Afterwards they moved on to creating a dinosaur dance party. The advanced students worked on programming a robot to walk around in a certain pattern.  

Students Use Technology Daily

Students at The Learning Center Charter School are no stranger to the use of state-of-the-art technology as part of their every day learning experiences.   The school has 3D printers in several classrooms, Smart Boards in every classroom, computers and laser printers available to every student, and more.

The school has cultivated an E-STEAM environment where students learn using a variety of methods, tools, and techniques.   E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts & agriculture, and math.

Head of school, Ryan Bender, said, “We use technology as part of our inquiry-based learning approach and have found that students gain a deeper understanding of a subject by means of experimentation with it.”

Bender pointed to a science class as an example of technology enhancing student learning.  “By giving our students access to technology and tools, we allow our students to “do” science instead of just “learn” science.”

For example, third grade students studied conduction, friction and heat transfer on January 20, 2020.  They conducted an experiment using infrared thermometers.  Students experimented on how the properties of different objects affect friction when rubbing with a cloth. Temperature was taken with the infrared thermometers and measured at different times through the course of the experiment.  Conduction, convection and radiation were all concepts that student learned as a result.

Bender added, “Using technology not only helps young students learn the skills required to operate the newest devices and latest software, but also allows them to research and solve problems in a collaborative and cooperative manner with their peers.”