Explorers Update - Spring 2015

What's Happening in Villano's Explorers Program?

Spring is Here...

After a long and cold winter Spring is finally here, thank goodness. At Villano we have been solving spontaneous thinking problems, writing skits, and are now building bridges. Please read below to get some more information about what the Villano Explorers have been up to.
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Throughout the winter the Villano Explorers were putting on a show, a Vaudeville show. Students in all grades were grouped to create an 8 minute skit styled after the Vaudeville shows of the early 20th century. Sounds easy? There were a few wrinkles students had to solve: 3 performances, an emcee, a commercial, and their performance had to highlight positive aspects of society. All of this in only 8 minutes. Group solutions varied from takes on Beauty & the Beast to Science Fiction. Students learned how to perform magic tricks, tell jokes, and write original pieces of music. The skits were performed for the the other Explorers.
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We Need a New Bridge

For the next several weeks Explorers will be tackling a new challenge, building a bridge out of toothpicks. Along the way students need to research different types of bridges and designs as well develop criteria for testing their designs. The project will challenge their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) skills. In April, students will meet with a guest architect to discuss designs and answer questions. This week students designed their first bridges using paper and Elmer's Glue. At the conclusion of the project students will present on their process and reasoning as well as mathematical explanations of how strong and economically efficient they will be when built. Parents and guests will be invited to a final competition where bridges will be tested and students will present their findings.
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At the start of the school year information was sent home regarding student involvement in the Ted-Ed program. The plan was to have students research a topic and create their own videos to be shared on the Ted-Ed website. However, due to scheduling conflicts we will not be tackling this challenge during the present school year. We will continue to evaluate Ted-Ed and the Explorers program curriculum to provide the greatest challenge for our students.
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