Classrooms and campus grounds of The Learning Center Charter School are filled with art projects from across grade levels and subject areas. This is because the school embraces learning through the arts as an essential part of a holistic, E-STEAM curriculum.
E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts and agriculture, and math.
“We know the arts are a crucial component of education for 21st Century students,” said Ryan Bender, head of school. “Through our classroom arts emphasis, weekly art instruction, art electives, and extracurricular activities in the arts, we are creating the kind of learners that can excel in any field they pursue.”
Teachers at the school use the arts, both visual and dramatic, in the classroom to teach core standards in an engaging and memorable way. On any given day, students can be found singing their multiplication tables, constructing sculptures in the garden, re-enacting famous scenes from American history, or cutting, pasting, and painting for their latest assignment.
The week of April 12th, students in all grades at The Learning Center Charter School learned about artist Paul Klee as part of the school’s continued emphasis on art as part of their E-STEAM curriculum.
E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, art & agriculture, and math. A driving principle of the school’s educational approach is to teach students that science, math, and technology skills are essential and are deeply integrated within the activities of entrepreneurship and agriculture, as well as language, music, and visual arts.
“Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences,” said Head of School, Ryan Bender.
“The arts – whether visual, written, spoken or performed, are an incredible venue to put academic lessons into practical use. We strive to bring a variety of arts experiences to our students during their time at our school. We offer opportunities to act, paint, draw, craft, write and participate in performances and competitions,” added Bender.
The school is adding a high school next year with the addition of 9th grade. Each subsequent year, an additional grade will be added to make the charter school a Kindergarten through 12th grade school in four years time. This same educational approach will be implemented in high school grades.
To celebrate the 100th day of school, students in first grade were tasked with building animals with 100 found objects. These fun creations were showcased during the virtual School Maker Faire in March.
Starting in the 2021-22 school year, The Learning Center Charter School will be participating in the Amazon Future Engineer Program. This program provides resources and support to teachers and students in the field of computer science.
The school is expanding to include high school grades. For the upcoming school year, ninth grade will be added. Tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades will be added in each subsequent school year.
“The engineering program offered in partnership with Amazon will be a valuable tool we offer both our high school and middle school students,” said Ryan Bender, head of school. Bender added that the partnership will allow teachers to introduce students to a variety of technological resources.
“This will allow us to introduce the basics of computer science including Scratch coding language,” said teacher Jessie Adams. Adams is the current sixth – eighth grade science teacher. However, with the addition of ninth grade next school year, she will be the seventh-ninth grade science teacher. Adams added that the curriculum provided through the partnership will also allow students to explore robotics, artificial intelligence, app development and more.
“We are excited that our middle and high school students will develop these skills and have amazing experiences like virtual visits with Amazon engineers, field trips to Amazon facilities, and ongoing opportunities for real-world experiences,” said Adams.
Students in first grade worked together on a School Maker Faire project all about birds. They had been learning about the building and nesting of Cardinals and Vogelkop Bower birds and took what they learned and ran!
First, students each build a cardinal nest. They learned that the birds use pine needles, weeds, twigs, tree bark, and roots to make their nests. They collected nesting material outdoors and used their engineering skills to build replica nests.
The second project was Vogelkop Bower bird nests. Students learned that this bird uses sticks for the nest roof and moss for the floor. The male bird collects colorful and shiny items to present on the “bower”, or stage, to attract females.
Fifth grade students have been doing amazing stuff in art! They have been learning about Wassily Kandinsky and his abstract art. Kandinsky experienced synesthesia – he could hear color and see music! The kids have been using a program that allows them to choose colors and shapes and create pieces of music. They have also been listening to pieces of music and creating art based on what they believe the music looks like.
Third graders recently studied plant needs and life cycle. They were so excited to germinate seeds in their desk, dissect and label parts of the seed (seed coat, epicotyl, radical, embryo, and cotyledon) and then learn the parts of a flower by dissecting daffodils.
Are you sharing your projects with us via Facebook? We sure hope so! Remember to tag us using BOTH @TLCGrowZonePage AND @TLCSchoolMakerFaire. Don’t forget to check our page on March 17th to see all the projects and give encouraging shout-outs to all our Makers!
This is a reminder that our 6th Annual School Maker Faire is going on now through March 17th via our Facebook page. Anyone that wants to participate is welcome! Share your project and tag us using BOTH @TLCGrowZonePage AND #TLCSchoolMakerFaire. Then be sure to stop by on March 17th to view all the projects and share encouraging words with our fellow makers. W cannot wait to see how YOU help us make this online School Maker Faire a success!