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Innovation at Cushman

The Cushman School’s INNOVATION CENTER will soon be open! We are thrilled to be able to offer our students, and in time our community’s children, a flexible space for exploration of and engagement with the design thinking process through the integration of science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. The Innovation Center’s program will provide students with opportunities to participate in society’s productivity. They will make real things that “matter” through authentic applications. Through these experiences, problem-solving and collaboration skills, an entrepreneurial mindset, flexibility of thought and creativity will be developed. From our tinkering space…a ‘maker space’….. to global communications and problem solving….to programming that includes coding and other advanced educational software that allows for architecture and digital design, to robotics and aviation, our Innovation Center will become an incubation hub. Students will experience ‘the concrete behind the abstract’ and learn how to develop an idea/prototype and bring it fruition.

While anticipating our grand opening of the Innovation Center, Cushman’s students engaged in meaningful projects and lessons that integrated S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) related fields. Just this past week, students in Mr. Schulze’s Middle School honors physical science class built and tested originally designed vehicles powered solely by the energy of one standard-sized mouse trap. Other students will be engaging in the famous ‘egg drop’ contest. This week, fifth graders will enjoy another one in a series of medical science classes delivered by Dr. Pat Caralis. Fifth graders are looking forward to an upcoming ‘medical emergency simulation’; more information will be forthcoming.  Following a field trip to the Bonnet House, third grade students engaged in an integrative, relevant project through art, creative and expository writing and oral presentations.  Fourth grade experiments with Gummy Bears involved math (volume and measurement), chemistry and language arts. In the Primary School, Savannah Jane Buffett shared her book The Jollymon with kindergarteners while Mr. Hamilton, our music teacher, played on his guitar the song written by Savannah and her father, Jimmy Buffett. Preschool students learned ‘sound’ science concepts authentically as Mr. Hamilton played the drums and guitar while students painted representations of their emotions. All classes participated in the Hour of Code during the week of December 9th by using blocks of code to create computer programs appropriate to the grade level.

Join us for the upcoming Gallery Walk, January 30th, and you will see how art has come to life in the classrooms. In some cases, as with the multiage children, students are using ‘found objects’ to develop a city. These are just a few of the ways integrative learning is happening in our classrooms, and when the Innovation Center opens soon, we look forward to a great deal of excitement as children’s curiosity is ignited!

All my best,

Arvi Balseiro