1. The excitement and engagement of the students: The students LOVED the engineering and construction lessons involving their favorite Pokémon. I think they realized they were having fun, but they didn’t realize they were practicing life and career skills. They identified a problem, identified potential solutions, performed research to fill in gaps in their knowledge, designed and tested solutions and redesigned solutions as needed.
2. The excitement and buy-in from the parents: “I don’t know what you are doing in here, but my daughter loves this class,” a student’s father said as he picked his daughter up after school. #Awesome #FiLS
3. Identifying the student takeaways: At the end of term 1, I asked 3 students to let me know what they learned during the 5-weeks of lessons. They said,
- I learned how to improve projects by using new materials and ideas.
- I learned how to use my imagination while doing my work.
- I learned how to use my manners while working with others.
4. Program growth: When FiLS began at Bancroft in the Fall of 2015, the class was open only to 5th graders. Starting in January of 2017, we were able to allow 4th graders to participate. There has been a growing interest in the FiLS after-school STEM class and we are increasing our ability to welcome as many students as we can. We have added several former scientists and several current high school students to our growing list of volunteers. We are always looking for more.
5. Love for the simple things in life: CUPCAKES! The students took a few moments to celebrate the fruits of their hard work by enjoying an afternoon snack. These pictures speak for themselves.