Scenes From Our 5th Annual School Maker Faire

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.

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!

The Learning Center awarded TVA STEM Education Grant

The TVA and local partner, Murphy Power Board, presented a $3,500 grant award to The Learning Center Charter School on February 4, 2020.

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.”

For additional information about the TVA STEM grants and see a full list of recipients visit https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Press-Releases/TVA-Partnership-Awards-600000-in-STEM-

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.

Folk School Wood Carvers Visit 2nd Grade

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.

TCEC Students Visit Our School

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!

5th Grade Muddy Sneakers Trip to Hanging Dog Campground

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. 

2nd Grade Celebrated the Season

Prior to the holiday break, students in second grade learned about many different countries and their cultural celebrations during the winter season.

Students worked on a Holidays Around the World project and invited families into the classroom to share the experience.

Students shared their hard work with their families. They also gifted them with a special holiday photograph and card, shared in holidays snacks and treats and ended the visit with a special holiday performance.

Second grade has had an amazing few weeks learning about cultural celebrations around the world. It was an honor to share the experience with student families.