Each year, our fifth grade students spend the year doing field work with Muddy Sneakers. 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.
In early February, students had a fun outdoor science excursion. Students trekked in the woods (The Outdoor Learning Center) to observe a flock of robins searching for food, then searched under the leaves to find a few myriapods (centipedes and millipedes), spiders, and other fun creepy crawlies.
Next, students learned about weather measurement tools, cloud types, evaporation, air density/pressure zones, and how all these factors play together to create the weather effects we are all already familiar with. Teacher, Mr. Fenris, was the “Sun, the Great Evaporator” evaporating our 5th grade water molecules in a Red-light, Greenlight style game.
Finally, they built and decimated a model city with EXTREME weather (handfuls of leaves).
The Learning Center Charter School celebrated making of all kinds at our 5th annual School Maker Faire on Thursday, March 12 from 3:30 – 6:30. Imagine a science fair, craft show, tech conference, and county fair, all rolled into one and you can picture a School Maker Faire.
Makers – from Learning Center students to community members – had booths featuring their own unique Maker project. There were hands-on activities, demonstrations, and delicious homemade food.
A special thank you to our wonderful community of Makers that made this event possible. The School Maker Faire proved to be an inspiring and educational evening for everyone who attended.
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!
The Learning Center Charter School is excited to announce a
recently awarded grant of $3,500 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, in
partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated for a STEM (science,
technology, engineering and math) education project.
“Students will design and construct a putt-putt golf course
on our campus,” said Jess Stephens, eighth grade social studies teacher at the
school. The design will center around
North Carolina history and will include replicas of historical artifacts.
“We’ll be using the grant for building supplies and hope to
continue adding holes to the course every year,” said Stephens.
The grant award is a part of $600,000 in competitive STEM
grants awarded to 142 schools across TVA’s service territory. The competitive
grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to
$5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s
primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development
and community problem solving. Schools who receive grant funding must receive
their power from a TVA distributor.
“This is the second year we offered this program to the
entire Valley and we saw a major increase in grant applications this year,”
said Community Engagement Senior Program Manager Rachel Crickmar. “There is a
demand in the Valley for workforce development through STEM education and I am
proud of the way TVA and our retirees are responding to that demand by supporting
teachers in the classroom.”
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.
within the community are invited to have booths featuring their own unique
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.
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
added that having makers from the community sharing and interacting with the
young people make the event truly special.
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
Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org/school-maker-faire to learn more and sign up
to be part of this event.
Woodcarvers from the John C. Campbell Folk School visited Second Grade in December. They demonstrated wood carving, shared finished pieces and answered many questions. The carvers are offering a free wood carving class on Thursdays at 7pm at the Folk School for anyone interested.
Tri-County Early College High School students came to our school in December to share their human impact project on plastic in the environment. They shared information and quizzed the students using Jeopardy game show style questions.
Tri-County Early College High School (TCEC) is a local choice for high school students. According to their website, what makes TCEC different than a traditional school is:
Tri-County Early College focuses on Project-Based Learning, STEM-focused learning activities, Competency-based Assessment, Experiential hands-on activities, College courses, 21st Century Skills, Tony Wagner’s Survival Skills, College Visitation experiences each year, Trust Levels that require students to take responsibility for their own learning, and a Service Learning component requiring students to achieve 100 hours of volunteer work by the time they graduate from high school. Student voice and choice is a strong part of our approach so that students can take ownership and feel highly engaged with their work.
The collaboration between our middle school students and the TCEC high school students bridges a gap between the schools and allows our students ample opportunity to learn about the exciting option for their high school years.
Plus many former students are now attending TCEC and everyone likes to catch up with their former class mates!
You might recall that our fifth graders spend the year doing field work with Muddy Sneakers.
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.
Students spent the day at Hanging Dog Campground learning about Energy and Heat Transfer. Students learned about heat transfer, insulators, and conductors, by testing the temperature of a rock in its original setting, then taking the rock and trying some different methods to warm the rock up and then testing the temperature again.
They also created a habitat out of only natural and native materials to see who could create the warmest environment. They tested their habitats by inserting a heated bottle of water and checked the temperature before inserting the water and at about 10 minutes after inserting the water. They also got to sample some pine needle tea as they learned about conduction, convection, and radiation.