If you are still interested in attending the Washington DC trip (May 15-18), the last day to sign up and enroll in the automatic payments plan is 12/26/17. If you sign up AFTER 12/26/17, you will be enrolled in the manual payments plan. There is an additional $50 fee to be enrolled in the manual payment plan. If you have any questions, please contact Ken Wrobel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Cullen (email@example.com).
3M grant gives Makerspace goodies to Nissitissit Middle School
By Anne O’Connor
PEPPERELL — Middle school students will be going even more high-tech in a hands-on classroom where they can make things that work.
A $2,500 grant from 3M will enable the school to purchase screens for the Raspberry Pi teaching computers it already owns. They are set up in the school’s makerspace.
“It will give each kid a workstation,” said Evan Worth, technology and makerspace teacher at Nissitissit Middle School.
The innovative classroom comes at little cost to the district. “The whole thing is really grant funded,” he said.
“I’m lucky that we have some parents from 3M,” Worth said. “They kind of tipped me off about it.”
In the classes, which meet, once a week, students might make an electric circuit using tinfoil and batteries or print something on a 3D printer.
“All over the spectrum of STEM,” he said.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sets standards for science, technology, engineering and math in the curriculum.
Students learn the basics of programming and making their own robots, Worth said.
“They love it,” he said.
Makerspace learning has been compared to technical classes from an earlier era, he said. Instead of cutting wood and designing shelves, kids use computers and other new technology.
The learning style can engage students who are not strong in traditional subjects.
Teaching in a non-traditional classroom is a lot more work than teaching the standard curriculum.
“I’m making this, the whole curriculum, up,” Worth said.
The district is considering a new curriculum from a Massachusetts company, FableVision, which uses project-based learning.
“I think that will be good,” he said.
Using the makerspace as part of a project-based learning might mean something like an English teacher using the lab so students can use paper-cutters to tell a story.
Follow Anne O’Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.
Mrs. Friend in the Nurse’s Office would like to remind students and parents to be aware of food allergies as you are out and about this holiday season. For example, it has come to our attention that the Pheasant Lane Mall is cooking tree nuts. We want everybody to stay safe!
Abriana Cronstrom and Isabella Vasapolli, proudly joined National Grid’s team volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Boston.
Abriana & Isabella helped put together everyday essentials for 60 kids who need and deserve basic items (clothes for school, shoes, PJs, a coat for cold weather, etc.,) to survive, thrive in school, participate more fully in life, to simply just be a kid! In addition, the girls wrote encouraging notes for these children, and signed up for the “Make a wish” program which involves fulfilling a child’s wish list for the holidays.
The entire National Grid crew participating was extremely proud of the girls work ethic and dedication to this cause. It was a delight seeing the girls in action and having fun! A very proud moment! Way to go Abriana and Isabella!
Have something great to share? Email Mrs. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org