Innovation Center

November 2017

Book Binge

  • We had a very successful book fair this year with over $4,000 in sales. $2,000 will go to the innovation center to purchase new library books, supplies, and makerspace materials. ELA and reading teachers also received 455 books for their classroom libraries, including classroom sets of the SSYRA books. Joey O'Neil won the drawing for Kwame Alexander's book Solo and a poster autographed by the author. Daniel Jennings won the family basket raffle with over $75 worth of books and other goodies. Thank you to all who supported the book fair!
  • Sixth graders from Ms. Wiggins' and Ms. Foster's classes participated in our first Facebook Live event with author Taryn Souders. She wrote How to Almost Ruin Your Summer, one of the books on the SSYRA list. She answered students' questions about her books and her life as a writer. All participants left with a chocolate version of the book, and two lucky students walked away with an autographed copy of How to Almost Ruin Your Summer.
  • Around the world with books! There is a new bulletin board in the innovation center featuring a map of the world. When students read a book, they can place a flag pin on the map to indicate the setting for that book. The settings for the 15 SSYRA books and ELA classroom novels have already been pinned on the map. Let's see if we can read all around the world this year!
  • Overdue slips will be placed in boxes the week before the end of quarter 2. Please encourage students to return books before the winter break so that books aren't lost. However, students are allowed to check out books over the break if they do not owe any books or fines.

Instructional Partnerships

Instructional partnerships are essential for a thriving future-ready innovation center. Many teachers have been utilizing new makerspace resources in the innovation center.

  • Ms. Loerch's science classes tested their knowledge of physics with popsicle stick catapults. The classes launched erasers and cheeseballs into cups and adjusted the levers to learn about fulcrums.
  • Ms. Ziegler's research class participated in a zombie-themed BreakoutEDU challenge. Students had 45 minutes to unlock 5 different locks to break into the box with the zombie antidote. Both teams broke out in time and no one turned into a zombie! Students had fun working together and figuring out the clues to break out.

We have two BreakoutEDU kits in the innovation center if you are interested in participating in a breakout activity with your class. There are tons of breakout challenges for every subject. Let Ms. Ratliff know if your classes are up to the challenge. The catapult makerspace is also available for use.

Future Launches

  • Hour of Code- December 4th-10th is Computer Science Education Week, and we will host Hour of Code opportunities throughout the week in the innovation center. If students are interested in learning how to code, they may come during research. Please sign up in advance to bring full classes. New Minecraft and Star Wars coding courses will be featured. If you want to learn more, go to
  • Read to Me is returning on Thursday, December 14th. Sixth grade was invited to attend the first event. The second event will be held during 4th period and open to 7th grade. Sign up your class for a spot in advance if you are interested in having them read to the dogs.
  • Minecraft Club will continue to meet on Fridays during research. More spots will open in January. Meanwhile, students can play single player during research Monday-Thursday if they have a pass from their research teacher. Students will be limited to 30 minutes of play time during block days.
  • Sunshine State Book Club started this week. Sixth grade is reading How to Almost Ruin Your Summer. Seventh grade is reading Terror at Bottle Creek. Eighth grade is reading Moving Target. Book club meets during research every Wednesday and Thursday for 30 minutes.
  • UpCyclothon 2018! Students will have an opportunity to take part in the inaugural Upcyclothon event this spring. We recently received a grant for a school-wide set of Make Do kits, which are an open-ended set of tools for creative cardboard construction. Teachers, please save your cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, etc. Your trash will be repurposed into collaborative art pieces!

Visit the innovation center!

"Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, but a librarian can bring you back the right one." --Neil Gaiman