Spectrum students in fifth and sixth grade can now design and create just about anything they can imagine. The Innovation Lab (iLab) is filled with old bicycles, electronics, and construction materials gathered by the teachers over the summer. Students also filled the iLab with odds and ends they brought from home.
Spectrum has been incorporating “project/work time” from preschool through fourth grades since 1982. Students are asked to develop an age appropriate project time plan, implement the plan (or not!) and then evaluate the project. This philosophy will now carry over into the upper school grades, but at a more complex level.
“All students need challenge and “hard fun” that inspires them to dig deeper and construct big ideas. Making science hands-on and interesting is not pandering to young sensibilities; it honors the learning drive and spirit ... Making is a way of bringing engineering to young learners. Such concrete experiences provide a meaningful context for understanding the abstract science and math concepts traditionally taught by schools while expanding the world of knowledge now accessible to students for the first time.” (2015. Martinez & Stager)
The Maker Movement, which has grown into a worldwide revolution, inspired our fifth and sixth grade teachers to expand the hands-on learning already taking place throughout the school, by encouraging the students to tinker and let their engineering, science and math creativity fly.
“The Maker Movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.”(2015. Martinez & Stager)
Spectrum Progressive School is an advanced program designed to spark innovation. We invite you to come see for yourself our exciting and vibrant learning environment.