1st Grade STEM Project

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Right before Labor Day weekend, students in first grade completed a fun STEM project.  The students worked in teams to plot a course for a turtle to go from his home to the pond. They had to use graph paper and use directional words such as “left” “right” “up” and “down.” Once their courses were written they tried them out on the computer. The poor turtle sometimes ran into rocks and trees but eventually they got him to his pond!!

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3rd Grade Replicates the Solar System – STEM Project

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Recently students in Ms. Jay’s 3rd grade class participated in a STEM project where they built hand held solar systems.

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Once those models were finished, the class went outside and made a scale model of the actual solar system so that the students could get a sense of how massive the solar system really is.  This gave the students some perspective on how far away Earth is from the Sun.

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STEM Project in Kindergarten and Preschool – Milk Rainbows

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Recently the Preschool and Kindergarten classes got together for a fun STEM project.  They made milk rainbows!  Students observed what happened when dish soap was added to milk with food coloring.  Afterwards, they documented their project in their science notebooks.

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Did you see us in the paper? TLC! Offers Rich Program for All Area Students

The Learning Center! Charter School has broken ground on the beginnings of an ambitious facility improvement plan designed to make the school “future-ready.” This summer, the school moved into it’s newly renovated administration office with plans for more expansion and improvements through a recently procured USDA loan.

The school offers a learning environment rich in academics balanced with the arts, music, an award winning nutrition program, daily P.E., and unique electives. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties. The school’s curriculum blends healthy living, community involvement and an academic program rich in Common Core standards for well-rounded future-ready citizens.

The Learning Center! is piloting a STEM program — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- for the new school year. The STEM program will complete what will be defined as an E-STEAM approach to education. “E” stands for entrepreneurship and the “A” is representative of a strong arts/language arts emphasis. “It is our goal,” said Mary Jo Dyre, director of The Learning Center “that all facility improvements  provide the ideal setting for students to be involved in the hands-on, problem solving approach that is characteristic of a quality E-STEAM education. We will have a stage for our drama program, OM/STEM workspace and a multi-purpose gym included in our up-coming construction plan.”

The school offers a rich music and drama program and will soon have a stage as part of it’s new facilities plans. The highly developed music education program offers chorus, guest musicians and instrument lessons that include bowed string, fiddle, guitar and piano.

The Learning Center! also offers Jr. Beta Club, Odyssey of the Mind teams, “Academics and the Arts” Artists-in-Residency program,  “Mini and Middle REAL”  young entrepreneur program, compacted math classes for gifted students, and pottery. “Girls on the Run” and “Girls on Track”, and “Chick Challengers Club” are among some of the rich electives and extra-curricular programs available through the charter school program. Recently, the school announced a Partnership with Western North Carolina Pacesettters that will significantly enhance the education experience for Learning Center students by supplementing P.E., STEM, and Aftercare programs with Pacesetters activities, plus offering engaging wilderness outings with qualified staff.

The Jackie Ward Foundation provides both funding and in-kind support for the school’s extra academics and arts programs. Students benefit from a rich cultural environment that complements academic offerings of the highest caliber.

Designated an “A+ Fit School” by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the school places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. Students eat healthy, freshly prepared food (served on real china and silverware) much of it from local sources.

The school also has a rich social media program to better communicate and interact with students, parents and faculty. Visit their new website (naturallygrownkids.org), blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage) to get a comprehensive overview of student opportunities.

The Learning Center!, serves approximately 200 students and is open to both in-and out-of-county students. There is no tuition for grades K through 8th and students can attend from any county.

The school also features a Montessori private preschool that is included in all the exciting development of becoming a STEM SCHOOL.  Tuition is charged and prices and hours are parallel to local childcare centers in the county. The pre-school program is eligible for subsidized funds.

The Learning Center! is located in downtown Murphy at 945 Conaheeta Street, Murphy NC 28906.
Call 828-835-7240 or email tlccs@naturallygrownkids.org for more information and to schedule a tour.

TLC! Receives Grant from North Carolina Farm Bureau

Science teacher Emily Willey, Cherokee County Farm Bureau President Mae Clay, and Science teacher Rachel Roberts
Science teacher Emily Willey, Cherokee County Farm Bureau President Mae Clay, and Science teacher Rachel Roberts

Science teacher Rachel Roberts introduced an ongoing project, Envirothon Aquaponics,  to TLC! in the spring of 2013 and was recently awarded a $500 grant from North Carolina Farm Bureau.  Cherokee County Farm Bureau President, Mae Clay, was on hand along with Farm Bureau District Field Representative, Jimmy Cowan, to present the award.

Envirothon Aquaponics project is designed to impact a small team of 6th-8th grade students, presenting them with opportunities to investigate environmental sciences in our local mountain region of North Carolina; to learn more about aquaponics and the role of the farmer/food producer in our state through studies that are committed to meet environmental improvement standards; to design and conduct experiments based on our investigations, to provide opportunities for a multi-disciplined approach (STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Language Arts, and Math) to problem solving and the development of critical thinking skills. Students with staff supervision will design, build, and maintain an aquaponics system that integrates the growing of plants and fish in an environmental system with as few inputs as possible.  Specific goals as related to this project include:

  • To grow edible plants.
  • To test different plants in our hydroponics systems and examine what grows best.
  • To raise 10 fish to maturity for consumption.
  • To investigate and understand local aquaculture systems and business in NC agriculture.
  • To conduct feasibility studies for extending /expanding the aquaponics so that it produces food for larger populations.
  • To create “student taught” grade appropriate (K-8) lesson plans to share with other students who did not participate directly in the project.

 

These specific goals are “repeat goals” that can be used for upcoming school years with different sets of students.

Students will learn types of plants and fish able to be grown in an aquaponics system in the mountain region of NC.  Students will learn about the local fish farm industry in our county, as well as local farmers that grown and produce their own edible greens.  Cherokee county is a rural area with a heritage of farming and self-sustainability.  Students will explore the possibilities of small scale agriculture and discuss the feasibility of producing fish and vegetables for their local school.  This will also be an experiment to see how successful a small student run system can be at a local school.

 

 

 

STEM in Action in First Grade

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Last Friday, students in first grade were challenged to create a plant using four different materials. The finished product had to have two movable parts and have all parts labeled.

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This lesson also included a time for them to evaluate their products to determine if they met the criteria and to speculate on what they would do differently if they did this lesson again.

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They enjoyed the lesson a great deal and worked together well.

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STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  Students at The Learning Center are exposed to STEM lessons frequently as part of our school wide emphasis on STEM.  However at TLC, STEM is taken further by expanding it to E-STEAM which stands for Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.

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More About Nutrition Education at TLC!

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Some things to know

  • The nutrition education program here at TLC! is called “Small Bites”

It includes, but is not limited to the following.

  1.  Pick of the Month—we highlight and celebrate a specific vegetable or fruit each month based on what is locally available.  You will see a blog post on the featured food and “ads” on the morning e-bulletin board.  We follow ASAP’s Get Local @ School calendar, highlighting foods when they are generally locally available.
  2. Monthly Emphasis-In addition to a “Pick of the Month” we also choose a nutrition-related topic to emphasize using the nutrition bulletin board in the Dining Commons and information is posted in the teacher workroom.
  3. Education on the serving line—you will see information about making healthful food choices posted directly on the serving line in the Dining Commons.  Students are given guidance based on My Plate guidelines and USDA regulations about what constitutes a reimbursable meal.
  4. Menus—A colorful  breakfast and lunch menu is posted on the school website.  In addition to answering the “what’s for lunch?” question, it contains recipes and information about healthy living.
  5. Lunchtime Read Aloud—We have a growing library of farm and food related literature,  mostly appropriate to a PK-4th audience.
  6. In-Class Activities
  7. STEM-foods and cooking can become part of a STEM project.
  8. Farm Field Trips

 

As seen in the Cherokee Scout’s School Round Up Addition

The Learning Center! Charter School

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Murphy – The Learning Center! Charter School has broken ground on the beginnings of an ambitious facility improvement plan designed to make the school “future-ready.” This summer, the school moved into it’s newly renovated administration office with plans for more expansion and improvements through a recently procured USDA loan.

The school offers a learning environment rich in academics balanced with the arts, music, an award winning nutrition program, daily P.E., and unique electives. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) blends healthy living, community involvement and an academic program rich in Common Core standards for well-rounded future-ready citizens.

The Learning Center! is piloting a STEM program — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- for the new school year. The STEM program will complete what will be defined as an E-STEAM approach to education. “E” stands for entrepreneurship and the “A” is representative of a strong arts/language arts emphasis. “It is our goal,” said Mary Jo Dyre, director of The Learning Center “that all facility improvements  provide the ideal setting for students to be involved in the hands-on, problem solving approach that is characteristic of a quality E-STEAM education. We will have a stage for our drama program, OM/STEM workspace and a multi-purpose gym included in our up-coming construction plan.”

The school offers Jr. Beta Club, Odyssey of the Mind teams, bowed string, fiddle, guitar and piano lessons,  “Academics and the Arts” Artists-in-Residency program,  “Mini and Middle REAL”  young entrepreneur program, compacted math classes for gifted students, and pottery. “Girls on the Run” and “Girls on Track”, and “Chick Challengers Club” are among some of the rich electives and extra-curricular programs available through the charter school program.

The Jackie Ward Foundation provides both funding and in-kind support for the school’s extra academics and arts programs. Students benefit from a rich cultural environment that complements academic offerings of the highest caliber.

Designated an “A+ Fit School” by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the school places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. Students eat healthy, freshly prepared food (served on real china and silverware) much of it from local sources.

The school also has a rich social media program to better communicate and interact with students, parents and faculty. Visit their new website (naturallygrownkids.org), blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage) to get a comprehensive overview of student opportunities.

2nd Grade STEM / STEAM Projects Studying the Human Body

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Recently Second Graders have been working on the human body and some of the systems. As part of the unit, students completed a Marvelous Me! project as they learned about the heart, lungs, ribs, esophagus, and stomach intestines.  They were able to learn all about the digestive system and the functions of other bones and major organs. It was a unit where the children were able to learn how their bodies work and how bones and organs are placed and why they are positioned the way the are.
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The children were able to blow into their “lungs” and see them inflate and deflate as well as watch “food” pass through the esophagus, into the stomach.
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This was a great project, and by the children constructing the project themselves and learning each part along the way, they were able to learn a lot about their own bodies.