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Invent to Learn – 4th Grade Engineering

In September, Hockaday piloted a new fourth grade course called Invent to Learn. The goal of the Invent to Learn course is to provide students with opportunities to imagine, design, and create solutions to problems in a hands-on, collaborative way. In the process, students will learn and practice new skills as they come to experience and trust their own ability to have a unique impact on their world.

The team is taught by Lower School Science Coordinator Amy Banks, Lower School Art Teacher Shelley Hampe, and Lower School Technology Specialist Karen Roberts, and the course will be an active, fully integrative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) experience. The course meets in the engineering classroom and the Idea Labs in the new Centennial Science Center.

Since it has been implemented this school year, the first half of the course was a HUGE success. Every girl finished a project and there was some amazing, creative work done. One of the best parts of it was the attitude/spirit of the Class of 2023—they have been a great “pilot” group—without exception, the girls have been enthusiastic, resilient, creative, support of each other, collaborative, determined, helpful, and well-behaved. We have just begun the spring adventure—the time when the girls will prepare and present a project proposal and then spend the rest of the year working to accomplish their goal. The most challenging part has been helping them find the right “scale” for their projects—we have girls who are dreaming big and want to create a machine that will do their homework for them, and then we have girls who want to make a clip-on book light, but to their very exacting specifications!

Does your school do something similar?

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