News from Empower!

Mrs. Taylor's Update November 10th

Expert Sessions

Our fourth and fifth grade students studying circuits in Light it Up had the opportunity to live zoom with an Engineer. We are SO lucky to have had these experts in their fields in our classroom. The students were so excited.

Here were our experts:

  • John Tuntland, Electrical Engineer at Caterpillar
  • Dan Taylor, Electrical Engineer at BW Papersystems
  • Jon Kujanski, RF Engineer at pSemi, A Murata Company
  • Adam Taylor, Mechanical Engineer at Fermi National Accelerator Lab
  • Nathan Ingersol, Electrical Engineer at General Services Administration (GSA)

Our students reflected on their sessions and here are some of the highlights:

The best part was...

"What he does every day at work, and what problems he has, and how he solves them."

"Learning about electrical engineering and learning what the challenges were."

"Knowing why he chose his job and what inspired to do his job."

"The map he was showing us, the lab they were going to make"

"Hearing the answer for " have you ever built a robot?'"

"When he talked about how to make a Circuit."

"When he said girls where working with him."

"I got to meet a REAL ENGINEER!"

Something I learned about engineering was...

"You don't just work in one spot you travel to work in all different places, which I found really cool and fun! And you have to be very careful to don't get hurt."

"The time it takes, the work it takes, and the process of becoming an engineer, not including university."

"There are many different kinds and it can take a while just to complete one project"

"You don´t always get it right the first time, even professionals."

"It is really hard and you make a lot of mistakes."

What are you still wondering...

"More about the REAL process to engineer a product or design. I also am wondering how it works and more about universities and processes to become an engineer."

"Was it ever so hard that you wanted to give up but you didn't and just had to keep working??"

"When is a time you got the most frustrated and how often do you get frustrated."

"How are you able to problem solve again and again."

I love that some of the big concepts that came out were perseverance, team work, growth mindset and work ethic. The BG fourth and fifth graders loved their session and are asking when they can zoom again in the future.

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​This month I am on a mission to share more about Empower with families! I would love to have you login to Schoology to access your child’s current module, pictures, videos, etc. from class! Please reach out to Mrs. Taylor if you need help setting up your parent account.

Each month a paper copy of the Monthly Maker Challenges come home in backpacks! Please submit a picture, video or bring in your creation to class! You can do this directly in Schoology by clicking on the assignment called "Maker Challenge Creation"!! You can launch your challenge to your class and school!

Monthly challenges are a way to EMPOWER the whole family to get involved and be creative! Pick one, three in a row or do them all! HAVE FUN!

Each month you can explore all about our monthly Empower Hero! The Empower Hero is someone that inspires, empowers, or encourages others to change the world! They all have one thing in common... their accomplishments changed history and the way we live today!

Parents & Students: You can click on all of the pictures and visuals to learn more about our monthly Empower Hero!

Kindergarten and First Grade's latest Module!

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Engineers! Engineers!!

Our youngest engineers built amazing Marble Runs out of all recyclables! They spent 2 class sessions planning, designing, building and iterating! THEN... we LAUNCHED them!! Our kindergarteners and first graders launched their marble runs ALL around our Bell Graham school! Classes tested, rated, reflected and gave our engineers feedback! I was so impressed with our 2-5th graders that took time to write comments, too!

Here are some of the great comments made:

"It was really fun and I enjoyed it"

"I like it because you slide down and it does not fall off"

"I like the colorful decorations"

"We really liked how it curved, next time add more curves!"

Second and Third Grade's latest module!

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News from 2nd and 3rd Grade

We are now starting to DESIGN! Our 2nd and 3rd grade students are creating their own games!! They are charged to either change a game, make a new version, or create an ORIGINAL game!!

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Fourth and Fifth Grade's Latest Modules!

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Light it Up News

We have been EXPLORING with Snap Circuits, Little Bits, Squishy Circuits, Paper Circuits (light up cards), and Makey Makey. Please ask your 4th or 5th grader about this!! During class the students have autonomy of their own learning and can choose their material to explore. Students are working hard on their final projects!! ASK them about their projects!!! Here are some pictures of the process....


Please continue to collect and send in the following materials

  • toilet paper rolls
  • paper towel rolls
  • wrapping paper rolls
  • OLD used board games (even if they are missing pieces!!)