Design and Engineering class explored Cold Frames. They first asked a lot of questions: Do cold frames work? Will they keep the temperature high enough during winter? What materials will work best to let in sunshine and insulate the plants from the cold? How much natural climate variation can we control by using a cold frame, and will it ultimately extend the growing season? The students combined several skills and several attempts to get it right: from concept/design to workshop time (using a chop saw, band saw, sanding, drilling, and applying hinges) to Arduino coding, wiring a circuit board, collecting daily data and applying it to a spreadsheet, and of course the physical work of planting. Success! A bountiful crop of kale was well worth the efforts.
Our Grade 5 students wrote notes for emergency room doctors/nurses/staff at Strong Memorial Hospital. A group of nurses and doctors took a minute to show their appreciation, even with all of the burdens they carry.
Teachers have developed numerous projects over the years to build new communities among the children, giving them independence and lessons in collaboration while keeping learning interesting. Among a number of inventive, interactive projects, the Twoville Post Office, begun in 1982 as a one-week activity, is an annual student favorite. Twoville gives students an enjoyable way to learn how to read, practice authentic writing, try new things, and hold roles of responsibility. Students processed over 2,000 pieces of mail in one week as parents had letters delivered to their children, Mr. Frye penned Valentines to all of the Lower School students, and a few of the faculty sent each other humorous packages.
Grade 2 took their study of mailed communications one step further this year by participating in Blue Origin’s Club for the Future. They are hoping to be some of the first humans to receive a postcard from space. They drew and wrote their visions of people living and working in space; the first 10,000 postcards will ride into space inside the Crew Capsule on an upcoming New Shepard flight. Once New Shepard returns to Earth, the postcard will be sent back, officially stamped “flown to space.”