This year we launched the opening of our new learning space, The Launch Pad. A space stocked with materials for creativity, design, and learning for our PreK through 4th grade students. As part of our work in this space, we encouraged our Kindergarten students to work with materials such as playdough, battery packs, and simple LED bulbs to build circuits, also known as Squishy Circuits. Their excitement, joy, and curiosity were priceless. In this video, you can see how engaged the young learners were in figuring out how to make the tiny LED bulb light up. This year was the start of this type of work with our students and we also dabbled in Design Thinking, working on designing pizzas for our favorite book characters. By working with other specialists, such as Art and Science, we are able to tie our experiences in a full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) experience in the Lower School. To dabble in the design process, cardboard pizzas designed for Pigeon, Curious George, and Biscuit, to name a few favorite characters. Pizzas contained imaginative items like toys, bananas, busses, and more. Students worked on the empathy piece of design thinking in collaboratively planning a pizza their book characters would love.
The work in the Launch Pad has been heavily centered around creativity, problem solving, and thinking, with both high tech and low tech skills weaved in to provide the type of experiences our students thrive on. Collaboration and critical thinking are not just skills practiced in The Launch Pad, but skills that will provide our students a strong foundation for the future. It has been fun to see students light bulbs come on in this learning space, both literally and figuratively.