The Weekly Griffin

Week of March 10, 2019 - #BuildingABetterGriffin

"Making" a Way to Success!

Tony Wagner, in his compelling text Creating Innovators (2012), states, "The interest in and ability to create new knowledge to solve new problems is the single most important skill that all students must master today" (p. 142). Behind every problem solution or innovation lie questions and layers of inquiry. Recently, our school implemented a MakerSpace in our media center. With the leadership of media specialist, Mrs. Jennifer Matthews, and support from our PTA, our students now have another space in which to create, collaborate, and explore.

The work or "tinkering" that is done in MakerSpaces is a powerful tool for learning at all grade levels. In fact, according to Curiosity Commons, "MakerSpaces were recently identified as one of six important developments in educational technology for K-12 education by the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report for 2015, which states, 'Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration' (p. 38). According to the NMC (2015), MakerSpaces have the potential to effectively support the necessary skillset for students in the 21st Century (p. 38)."

At Sterling, we want our students to become empowered, creative, resilient leaders who can solve problems, advocate for others and themselves, and empathize with others. Such soft skills do not develop in a vacuum; like cognitive strategies, they must be taught, modeled, and encouraged through an intentional process. When students learn in a safe environment where they are encouraged to explore, they will become lifelong learners who not only investigate but influence the world around them. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

***If you'd like to support our school's MakerSpace, we are currently in need of the following supplies: LEGO's, duct tape, glue, packing tape, puzzles, scissors, and markers! All donations can be delivered to the front office or to our media center. Thank you!

Sterling/CTC Student Places 3rd in Regional Science Fair

Congratulations to 8th grade student Rishita Tikkala! Rishita placed third in the middle school Biology and Health Division of the South Carolina Regional Science Fair, sponsored by Southern Wesleyan University. Rishita’s project was “Resistance of Bacteria to the ordinary kitchen cleaning materials and best ways to disinfect.”

Briefly, Rishita's research included culturing bacteria on agar plates from the kitchen sink using a home made incubator (card board box and a desk lamp) and checking for their growth pattern while using different disinfectant solutions. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

What's Ahead...

  • March 12 - 4K Pre-Registration: Deadline

  • March 15 - Deadline for Greenville Drive Reading Challenge

  • March 15 - Last day to purchase elementary yearbook for $20.00 ($25 after this date)

  • March 19 - Best Practices in Gifted Education Series, 9:00-9:30am in Vegas

  • March 20 - Families for Lunch

  • March 22 - Bingo Night (3:30-7:30pm)

*Please continue to be mindful of our drop-off and pick-up. Have students exit or load the full length of the awing and please keep this area/time "cell phone free!"

2019 Sterling School Spelling Bee

Last week, we held the annual Sterling School Spelling Bee. With the word “frippery,” Aditya Harikumar (5th grade) became our elementary champion, and with the word “ricotta,” Maggie Austin (8th grade) won at the middle school level. CONGRATULATIONS to Maggie, Aditya, and to all of this year’s spellers! #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

Middle School Student Improvement Council

Hear ye, Hear ye! Introducing the Middle School Student Improvement Council!

If your student is interested in becoming a grade level representative on the M.S.S.I.C., please encourage them to come to a meeting on Tuesday, March 19 in room 820 (Ms. Saunders’ room). There they will hear all about this new opportunity to serve their class and help to improve our CTC Middle school! The meeting will begin promptly at 2:55 and be finished by 3:15. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

Digital Families Event, Sponsored by our PTA

Thurs, March 28th - Digital Families Event (Grades 3rd-8th): PTA is excited to invite all 3rd-8th grade students and their parents to attend Digital Families Night on Thursday, March 28th, from 6:00-7:30pm. We’ll start serving dinner at 5:15. Parents will connect with their kids to understand what it’s like for them growing up online. You'll go through interactive sessions together to explore how your family responds to real-life online interactions and how you can protect one another online.

Have you started talking with your kids about online safety and digital citizenship? Now’s the time! We want to include as many families as possible, and we hope you'll RSVP to join us. Please register by Thursday, March 21st!

Join us for a FREE DINNER, drawings for DOOR PRIZES, and a great opportunity to connect with your children!! Together, let's help our kids learn about topics such as how to create secure passwords, deciding what information is appropriate to share online, how our online behaviors can shape our privacy, and what it means to be an "upstander" and not just a bystander.

Connect with your children to understand what it’s like for them growing up online. Go through interactive sessions to explore how your family responds to real life online interactions and how you can protect one another online.

  • RSVP for free dinner by Thurs, March 21st: CLICK HERE!

Thurs, April 25th - Family STEM Night (Grades 3rd-5th): Families can participate in fun, hands-on STEM activities! Great enrichment opportunity! (See flyer below for more information.)

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BINGO Night is Back!

Excitement is building for the return of our annual Bingo Night! We have gotten in some fabulous prizes from generous donors. Now we need players to win those prizes! You're invited to a fun, fabulous night of BINGO!

When: Friday, March 22nd

Session Times:

First Session: 3:30-5:00pm

Dinner break from 5:00-6:00pm

Chick-Fil-A and pizza will be available to purchase

Second Session: 6:00-7:30pm

Families may attend either session

Price: None, Nada, Zip! It’s FREE to participate! We are asking for a voluntary contribution at the door to our backpack buddies program. Suggested donations can be found HERE.

  • Volunteer Sign Up Genius: CLICK HERE!
  • No RSVP required for dinner - Order & pay at the event (Chick-Fil-A and pizza)

Doors will open for the first round at 3:15. Car riders should be picked up as usual after school. Parking will be available in all school lots. You may not park in the fire lane or in the parking lot behind Tanners. Starting at 3:30, you may line the outside of the driveway. Do not park on both sides of the drive or block the flow of traffic. If you are parked inappropriately you will be called out to move your car. Carpooling is recommended. We are looking forward to a really fun event. We hope to see you all there!

GSSM Summer Camp is Coming to Sterling School!

The South Carolina Governor's School for Math and Science will host two summer day camps at our school this year! Be sure to register by April 15th to receive Early Bird prices. Sterling School is the only host school in the entire upstate. Registration is now open and space is limited!

iTeams Xtreme for current 5th-7th grade students
June 24 - 27, 8:30am - 4:00pm
(Micro)control Your World!

Dive into microcontrollers and their applications through one of two tracks:

Arduino & Robotics
Explore the world of computational thinking and microcontrollers using Arduino technology and robotics. Learn how to program your very own microcontrolled robot and pit it against other students' robots in camp-wide competitions such as Maze Runner and Robot Wars.

Arduino & the Internet of Things
Explore the world of programming with Arduino technology. Increase your programming skills while learning about digital communication, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things.

Register for iTeams Xtreme HERE.

CREATEng for current 7th and 8th grade students
June 17 -20, 8:30am - 4:00pm
Innovate. Design. Create.

CREATEng is GSSM’s one-of-a-kind engineering and design thinking day camp for rising 8th and 9th graders. Students take on the role of NASA engineers charged with developing a sustainable colony on Mars. Working through project-based, hands-on team challenges, students learn what engineering is and what engineers do. With a focus on civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering students work through a series of mini challenges from building windproof structures and protecting transportation with impenetrable wheels for the Rover, to using Arduino technology for greenhouse automation.

CREATEng students will interact with guest speakers and go on a field trip to a local company to see engineering in action.

Register for CREATEng HERE.

Get Involved...Our Students Need YOU!

Did you know Greenville, SC ranked 3rd among cities in the United States of citizens who volunteer most? According to Barna's recent report, 27% of survey participants reported that they volunteer for a nonprofit organization on a weekly basis. On behalf of the faculty and staff at Sterling School, we appreciate our volunteers! THANK YOU for generously supporting our students and school community with your time, energy, and care! #BuildingABetterGriffin
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2019 Sterling School Black History Celebration

Our second annual Black History Program featured the Sterling School Chorus, Sterling Dancers, the Nicholtown Community Choir, and internationally recognized poet and speaker, Charlene "Chiccy Baritone" Evans.

Additionally, Thursday's event showcased a Black Migration presentation, and a special performance of "Change the World" by 4th grade Honors Chorus, Sterling Dancers, NCC, Reggie Rocc, Jada Redmond, Kristen Stephens, and songwriter Alphaeus Anderson. The pre-show performance included a Harlem Renaissance Art Show and Negro Spirituals performed by the Sterling School Chorus. Many thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to this year's event organizers. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild #BlackHistoryIsOurHistory

MathCounts State Competition

The Sterling School MathCounts team won first place at the state MathCounts competition held in Aiken, SC on Saturday, March 3. The winning team consists of Emma Bao, Emily Zhang, Noah Brooks and Aedan Honohan. Atharva Shah also competed and earned a 17th place out of 94 total contestants. Emma earned a 5th place finish and 4th place in the Countdown Round competition. Emily was 9th place overall and participated in the Countdown Round. Noah was in the top 16 as well and participated in the Countdown Round. With the win at the state competition, Ms. Gordon has been named the coach for the SC state team at the national competition to be held in Orlando, Florida in May. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

All of our contestants did an awesome job! Go Griffins!