My students represent a wide variety of demographics economically, racially, and in regards to learning needs. 25% of our kids are 504/IEP. We are located in an area where the average household income is 100K + our kids are 30% free and reduced lunch.
This school is a fairly new one in an area where lots of parents are looking for options to both challenge and support their kids.
Many come here for more individualized service while others need genuine IEP/504 support. Our finances are limited due to NC policy of keeping 30% of funds for student in their local districts. We are investing in more essential learning support materials.
We are starting an Engineering program, and our kids are excited about it. Some are involved in after school academic programs investing 200+ hours after school to compete. Some can certain go find materials they need for building and engineering project but most cannot and do miss the best learning opportunity due to a lack of materials in the classroom. This challenge makes it much more difficult to meet the needs of our kids.
Students will work in teams to design, model, test, and statistically analyze puzzle with trials among peers, staff, and family members. By steps they will create a leaf diagram to design a set of puzzle pieces 3x3x3. The calipers will help them with multi-view/dimensioning and CAD models. The plastic cubes will allow them to test their constraints on models in the classroom. The wooden cubes will allow them to build a puzzle for collecting data at home and school; to validate or else invalidate whether their idea conformed to the constraints.
These tools will allow the kids to explore a grand experience where they are critically responsible for creating a product that meets criteria and constraints that can be appreciated by peers and family.
This would create a deep job satisfaction experience that should encourage learning, problem solving, and a good work ethic.
Both the plastic cubes and calipers are long term investments to be used over the years and can be deployed in many undertakings as we explore engineering. Having these removes the financial boundary that keeps my students from embracing an opportunity for such a great real world learning experience.
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