By Susan Fushikoshi, Punahou Schoool, Honolulu, Hawaii
“Clean water- it’s so precious! It’s our basic Need. Where does it come from? What can we do to keep it clean? Do we have water problems in Hawaii? How can I help someone who also has problems with their water?” Punahou 2nd graders in Honolulu, Hawaii started this inquiry about water and discovered the world!
In December, Mrs. Andrews’ fifth grade class at Mountain Brook Elementary School experienced a unique opportunity to speak to their partner classroom in Bogota, Colombia– LIVE! We had been waiting anxiously for weeks for this special moment, which culminated our eight-week Level Up Village Global Scientists course.
By John Childs, Program Director, Mental Fitness 21st Century Learning
“OMG! We could help give clean water to all our brothers and sisters in Africa!” This was the ‘eureka moment’ for one of our 8-10-year-old students while seeing the results of an experiment in Level Up Village’s Global Scientist course. The students collaborated on the design of a water collection apparatus made from leaves, some plastic, a few heavy rocks with a carefully dug hole it all came together very nicely! When students can connect learning with the solution of problems the education becomes relevant and meaningful and most of all fun.
From the ISTE 2017 Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Level Up Village (LUV) today announced it has added live video chat technology to its Global Communication Platform in order to further enhance the communication and collaboration that takes place between students from across the world in every Level Up Village course. This new functionality is already being piloted by students in the United States and their global partners in Zimbabwe and will be available to Level Up Village students all over the world starting in September of 2017.
The team at Level Up Village is delighted to recognize Karen Orozco at NicaPhoto in Nicaragua as Global Partner Teacher of the Year for 2017. Karen has taught seven different Level Up Village courses including LUV’s newest courses: Global Water Crisis and Global Game Strategists. Her favorite course to teach so far is Global Doctors Anatomy. Karen’s students live in the Sonrisa de Dios neighborhood of Nagarote in homes that were only recently wired for electricity. Despite the many challenges the children face in their daily lives, they are receiving cutting-edge technology instruction at NicaPhoto through their Level Up Village courses.
How would you like to grow vegetables, plant flowers and collect eggs as part of your school day? These are just a few of the many hands-on activities for students at American Farm School just outside Thessaloniki, Greece, where a working farm produces milk, yogurt, Omega 3 eggs, turkey, wine and more. In this living laboratory, children learn by doing by engaging in experiential learning and applied research… Students at the school’s STEM Academy recently completed Level Up Village’s Global Scientists – a course that explores water chemistry, water conservation, water pollution and filtration.
Level Up Village is keeping environmentalism and internationalism at the forefront in the third grade. For the first time this winter, The Wilson School is participating in a program offered by Level up Village, which facilitates global science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) collaboration between students from around the world. Third grade “Global Scientists” collaborated with a class in Nicaragua, sharing project files and exchanging video letters.
It’s a truly exciting time to be a teacher, especially now that educators are increasingly focused on implementing cross-curricular, project-based learning (PBL) in their classrooms.
Cross-curricular learning taps into the four C’s: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking – the skills widely considered essential for the 21st Century learner. Moreover, the newly revised standards (CCSS, NGSS and ISTE) all require students to develop these higher level skills. Here are some benefits to implementing projects that transcend disciplines in your classroom:
In case you were wondering just why STEM education is so important, here are some numbers to consider: last year, there were more than half a million high-paying tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled. By 2018, the U.S. government expects there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs. Accordingly, 21st Century educators face an extraordinary challenge. Not only do they need to find new and better ways to spark students’ interest in STEM, but they must also ensure that girls are buying in, as well.