February Experience Weeks

Last week campus was busy with the first in this year’s series of Experience Weeks.

Lower Elementary students participated in Learning through Marsh & Meadow while our 4-8 grade students enjoyed Coastal Creatures: Create 3D Prints with BlocksCAD

Heather Carnevale, Lower Elementary One, shared this reflection on the week,

“The Learning through Marsh and Meadow Experience Week was filled with hands on activities and a group of very curious students.  Students learned about plant and animal species of the eastern inland marsh and meadow through the making of 3D models and participating in a field trip to Ipswich River Watershed Association led by a naturalist.  They also traveled to a dam in downtown Ipswich to see a fish ladder and learn about the migrating behaviors of River Herring. Back on campus, the group  watched video clips of fish and otters using the same ladder.   Students completed research of a native animal using “Who am I?” clues sharing information while pretending to be that animal. Coding was explored through the use of grids and bot mice and bees.  Students worked in pairs and programmed the bots to obtain certain goals.  The art of Japanese Paper Theatre was introduced to tell folk stories as well as a modern day news story.   As with all Experience Weeks it was nice to be able to explore a subject at an in depth level through art, literature, science, nature, writing, and more.”

Diana Norma Shafer shared updates to the families of the students participating in the Coastal Creatures: Create 3D Prints with BlocksCAD.  Those students coded and designed their own 3D caterpillars and snowmen using X, Y, Z coordinate planes. They plotted 3D images and translated, rotated, colored, and rendered them digitally.   They enjoyed Japanese Paper theater and the story of a unique friendship between a penguin and a man.  They examined the story to connect it to scientific research about penguin behavior, life cycles and adaptations. They also explored Haiku poetry.

They had a beautiful day in the morning at Ipswich Watershed Association. They noticed animal tracks, found owl pellets, and learned about invasive plant species. They also wrote haiku poems in their nature journals.  Back on campus, they continued  Blocks/CAD coding rendering snowmen, robots, and animals. Students helped each other while they learned how to use translations, rotations and much more.

She later shared, “We have learned a lot. We discussed how engineers have used biomimicry to recreate penguin wings to allow for water crafts to have the best buoyancy. We did water experiments to explore the effect of salinity on flotation, and we even learned how to think like a penguin. Please enjoy the video clips in the video album of the bulletin board. In them, you’ll see the students created a game with our guest yoga instructor in which they had to make their bodies move like penguins. They decided to do a predator/prey tag game with two variations. In one version, the penguins were the prey of one polar bear, and they huddled together to protect the most vulnerable in the middle. They came up with this strategy on their own, strategizing like penguins do and really came to appreciate how a penguin must feel when being hunted. Penguins do put their most vulnerable in the middle and take turns being on the outside of the huddle. This ensures the well being of the greater good of their community. In the other version, one student was a penguin and the other students were fish. They had to move like fish belly down  while the penguin was the hunter. The children had a lot of fun! We also learned how to code with coding mice robots. The children tested what happens when all the same codes are put in and they tried to synchronize the robots.”

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