The Learning Center is expanding to become a full kindergarten through twelfth grade school in the next three years. The upcoming 2022-23 school year will see the addition of tenth grade with eleventh and twelfth being added the next two years.
Looking ahead to the expansion, eighth grade students gathered at the school’s outdoor classroom and did a visioning exercise where students were to think about what their best high school experience would include. They then rotated through four stations of all hands-on E-STEAM activities designed to give them a taste of what their high school education will be like at the school.
E-STEAM stands for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts/agriculture, and math.
The four stations were titled Ballistics, Foldscopes, Mobius Magic, and Riddle Me This. Students built catapults out of wood, 3D printed parts, and bungee cords. They used Foldscopes, which are best described as origami microscopes, to identify a series of microbes. They used paper craft to make a simple shape with unexpected behavior and used brain teasers and riddles. These activities used engineering, physics, microbiology, math, and logic.
Debby Kurti, learning strategist at the school, said that the exercise was to give the 8th grade students a real sense of what high school was going to be like at the charter school. She added that the high school students are continuously exposed to a rich variety of learning experiences that includes venturing out into the community and interacting with leaders, businesses, and trades people.
“Our high school program centers around hands-on problem based learning rooted in real world scenarios and we believe that being out in the real world best offers those opportunities,” said Kurti.