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Summer Compass students dive into design engineering & upcycle challenges at Lesley STEAM

Lesley STEAM Learning Lab hosted just over 100 Lesley Summer Compass students this past week in our makerspace. True to their 2018 theme “Going Green”, campers engaged in a variety of design engineering challenges with a focus on upcycling materials, insects, plants, and alternative modes of transportation.

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Lesley Wonderlab: Bee-Bot mapping project

Wonderlab students engaged in making: using BeeBots, recyclables, and natural materials to design their own forrest pathways
Students from Lesley’s Wonderlab program visited the Lesley Makerspace on October 10th, 2017 to design their own landscapes. Before jumping into making, the group discussed their knowledge of maps and cardinal direction.

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What does sound feel like? What does sound look like?

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First graders at the Kennedy School were recently challenged with the following questions: What does sound feel like? What does sound look like? The Lesley STEAM team worked closely with both first grade teachers at the school to develop activities that would allow students to first and foremost explore and engage with the sounds, sights, and sensations of sound.
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Summer Compass Students Join the Maker Olympics

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During their second week of summer, over 150 Lesley Summer Compass students immersed themselves in Olympic themed challenges in the Lesley Makerspace. These eager K-6th grade students experienced a variety of STEAM activities developed around each grade level.
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K-Lo team competes at BPS Robotics Olympics

Three third and fourth grade students from the Kennedy-Longfellow School spent a Saturday in early June participating in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Robotics Olympics. Not only were they amongst the youngest students there, they were also honored to be the only team representing the Cambridge Public Schools.

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Stop Motion Monster Mashing

Fi9780062125941rst grade students explored color mixing in art class by creating their own stop motion animation videos. The stop motion center was just one of six centers set up by K-Lo art teacher Amanda Kilton. The other centers included an overhead projector color transparencies, stamp mixing, tissue paper collage, painting and a color-based book browsing table with titles like “Monsters Love Colors.”

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Kinetic Art & Simple Machines

The Kinetic Sculpture/Simple Machines has been a project-based collaboration between the 5th grade classroom teachers, the art teacher, the Library/Media Specialist and the technology teacher. The project began by the classroom teacher introducing the concept of simple machines during homeroom science blocks. Students documented and explained every day simple machines found in the kitchen: a can opener, knife, pizza cutter, etc. Teachers also set up an engineer “gallery walk” where students walked around the school makerspace and read about over 20 types of engineers. They were then tasked with finding two types of engineering they were interested in and explaining their interest.

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KLO Rocks Hour of Code


Above: The 4th grade students became programming mentors, helping to guide Kindergarteners through exploring Scratch Jr.

Students at the Kennedy-Longfellow School didn’t just spent one hour coding for the National Hour of Code Week: they spent 31 hours of collective coding! All grade levels, including preschool and Special Start students up through 5th grade, were invited into the school makerspace during the week to participate in hands-on coding activities. Following our model of student-centered learning, we set up various centers, depending on the age range, and let the students free to explore!

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Girls Make Games

YodaAbove: a 5th grade coder mentors a 1st grader using Scratch Jr. 

A group of nine Kennedy-Longfellow students spent a weekend in November coding as part of the first ever Boston-based “Girls Who Make Games” workshops at MIT. These students immersed themselves in game design, art, and programming using software called Stencyl.

Not only did they get to network with other local girls who code, they were mentored by local professional developers. We sat down with these students and asked them to share their thoughts on what makes them tick as programmers at K-Lo, and beyond. To view the video, click here.