Broadalbin-Perth 7th through 9th grade students had the opportunity in August to participate in Broadalbin-Perth Junior High School’s summer enrichment programs as an extension of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum, which is part of the Broadalbin-Perth- Primary school is taught.
The whole week the students designed and built “Green” Build houses, built popsicle bridges, planned a hypothetical trip to Mars, and even dissected a sheep’s brain.
The PLTW curriculum is built into the educational career of any BP student who begins in kindergarten and introduces them to concepts in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
PLTW uses the inquiring nature of children, motivates them to learn through play, encourages them to keep discovering new things, to become practical problem solvers and to learn to cooperate with one another.
The district used the federal stimulus money to fund this summer’s enrichment programs and was able to offer BP families the one-week camps – as well as bus transportation – free of charge this year. The students could choose from the following classes:
u Green architecture: BP Jr.-Sr. High school graphics teacher Crisan Anadio taught students about green architecture, a philosophy that advocates green building, the use of sustainable energy sources, reducing energy consumption and modernizing buildings with new technology. Students learned about different styles of architecture, were introduced to various software used by architects, and the unique handwriting style architects use on blueprints. They created floor plans, designed and constructed “Green” Houses made of cardboard and designed a structure on graph paper, which was then converted into a real model.
u Engineering Design: BP’s new technology teacher Nicole Battisti delivered a course that helped students explore the engineering design process through a variety of experiments and challenges, including an egg trap (creating a mechanism that holds an egg in front of from breaking in a vertical fall), cup stacking challenge (stacking cups with tools but not hands), rocket launch (a paper rocket launched with a straw), popsicle bridge competition (which bridge can handle the most weight hold, with just 200 popsicles and glue) and a paper airplane design contest (which airplane can fly the furthest and straightest).
u Aviation and Space Summer Camp: Beth Tomlinson, PLTW teacher at BPES, taught this aerospace curriculum, which covers the study of aviation science, travel and space life, and the role of scientists and engineers in the field included aeronautical science. The students also worked in teams to design and model various aspects necessary to carry out a hypothetical mission to Mars, including astronaut crew planning, rocket specifications, daily crew activity plans, specifications for a landing site, and construction of one Mars lander.
u Medical Detectives: Taught by Natasha Hakim, a science teacher at BP Junior High School, this class gave students the opportunity to study various aspects of the brain. They studied the nervous system and how it interacts with the brain, the anatomy of a human brain, and even performed the dissection of a sheep’s brain! They played all week “Brain bingo” and created their own brain hats. Students also learned medical imaging (MRI-CT, etc.) from an X-ray technician at St. Mary’s Hospital and worked through a fictional patient record to make a possible diagnosis.