Global Scientists

Challenging the Gifted Learner through Cross-Curricular Global STEAM

By Erin Dowd

STEAM.
Technology.
Global problem solving.
Critical thinking.

These topics seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the the 63rd Annual National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Convention in Orlando. We were thrilled to be able to say that yes, our courses meet all of those needs! Indeed, the Level Up Village team returned from the conference bursting with excitement, ready to inspire even more gifted students to find solutions to real-world problems and engage in meaningful virtual exchange with peers from across the globe.

Global Partners

Kent Place School’s Newest Global Partners

Guest post by Nathan Lutz, Global Learning Coordinator at Kent Place School

In my role of Global Learning Coordinator, I am constantly seeking ways for our students to have global experiences. Girls in the Middle School and Upper School at Kent Place School have many opportunities for global engagement, including several options for trips. Our Primary School students, however, don’t have as many opportunities. Our World Language classes have sister classes with which they correspond via letter or Skype, but I feel like we can always do more. After all, technology has given us new opportunities for communicating with people all over the world.

When introduced to Level Up Village (LUV), I knew that by we would have new opportunities that would excite our students about meeting other children from around the world.

Tips for Level Up Village Teachers

Five Tips for Level Up Village Teachers

Teaching Level Up Village courses either during the day or after school is a great way to get valuable hands-on STEAM (STEM + arts) experience and learn new skills in the areas of coding and game design, CAD and 3D printing, dissections, genetics and more. Here are some practical tips for teachers on how to make the most of the experience:

Solutions to the Global Water Crisis

Global Scientists: Kids Propose Solutions to the Global Water Crisis

Access to clean and safe water – a widespread problem in many parts of the world – is not just an abstract concept for a group of children at The Stanwich School in Greenwich, Connecticut. They’re tackling the problem in Global Scientists, an after-school course offered by Level Up Village (LUV). For the duration of the course, the kids are collaborating virtually with partner students in Kosovo by following the same curriculum and exchanging video messages during each class period.

The kids in Connecticut are learning that accessing clean water is a real-life issue for their global partners. In a recent video, a student in Kosovo explained that in his community, families rely on well water that they must filtrate and purify before it is clean and clear enough to drink – a process that can take three to four months!

Why Teachers Should Facilitate Global Conversations

Educators and parents often tout the importance of global citizenship. And today’s technology makes it easier than ever before to connect students from around the world. But why is so important to give students these opportunities? Here are three benefits to facilitating global conversations between students:

Five Ways to Super Charge the STEAM classroom

Are you looking for a way to jazz up the STEAM (STEM + arts) programming at your school? Try combining hands-on STEAM with authentic global learning. Level Up Village partners U.S. students one-on-one with peers in the developing world for meaningful cultural exchange and collaboration on STEAM projects. Students communicate with their global partners each class period via video message exchange to share their findings, learn about each other’s lives and collaborate on real-life applications of their learning.

Social Awareness and Builds Global Community

LUV Courses Develop Social Awareness and Builds Global Community in TX

“What IS this?” exclaimed Grace. Her eyes widened behind her goggles at she leaned closer to her snake specimen to get a better look. In the middle of the dissection, she had discovered what seemed to be several more little snakes, all coiled up in the abdomen. The other girls clustered around to see.

“First we thought the snake had possibly eaten another snake, but we kept looking and found more and more,” said Jennifer Beck, a teacher at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. “We weren’t expecting a pregnant one, so we had to do a lot of Internet research, and we learned not all snakes lay eggs. Some carry their young.”

The girls were participating in Level Up Village’s Global Doctors – Anatomy as part of “DASH into Summer,” a summer enrichment program run by Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.

STEAM Education and Global Citizenship.

Fisher Island Day School Takes STEAM Education & Global Citizenship to the Next Level

“How do you get your water?”

That was the opening question in a video message from a young student at the Innovative Minds School in India. Masha, a U.S. student at Fisher Island Day School (FIDS) in Miami Beach, Florida, walked over the class sink and turned on the faucet. “This is how I get my water,” she said.

Then the student in India responded that many people in her community don’t have that option. In fact, she explained, getting water was quite difficult.

“It was an eye-opener for Masha,” said Lynn deAraujo a second grade teacher at FIDS.
This cross-cultural exchange was facilitated by Level Up Village (LUV), which began working with FIDS in the 2013-14 school year as part of the school’s push to increase STEAM programming.

21st Century Skills

Pioneers Builds 21st Century Skills & Updates Science Offerings by Running LUV Courses During the School Day

Nashat, a student at Pioneers Baccalaureate School (PBS) in Nablus, West Bank, recently described LUV’s Global Doctors course as “one of the best things I have done in my life.”

In the course, students learned about human body systems by dissecting a variety of specimens, including a frog, a grasshopper, and a sheep’s heart and brain – and shared their findings via video message with partner students in the U.S.