The Independence School Makes Global Connections through Level Up Village


 

Guest blog post by Chuck Ristano, Communications Manager at The Independence School in Newark, Delaware

In the fall, seven second graders received a truly interactive, global experience – without having to leave the comfort of our campus! Under the tutelage of Bernadette Gilmore, Director of Academics and Curriculum, these students participated in the after-school STEM program entitled “Global Storybook Engineers.”

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Second graders at The Independence School work on a design challenge in Global Storybook Engineers. Each class period, they exchanged video messages with partners in Peru who were tackling the same projects.

The second graders read fables and myths from around the world and used the stories as a springboard for exploring the engineering process, including designing and testing prototypes.

“I cannot describe the excitement our little group of engineers felt when testing their prototypes,” Mrs. Gilmore said. “We never knew what would work and what would not, but it was always a blast. The icing on the cake was for the children to be able to ask questions of their Peruvian partners about everyday life in South America.”

They then shared their hands-on projects, in addition to aspects of themselves and life in the United States, via video messages with students in Peru who were reading the same stories and trying the same challenges.

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Students work with a variety of materials to engineer solutions for storybook characters as part of the course.

“I cannot describe the excitement our little group of engineers felt when testing their prototypes,” Mrs. Gilmore said. “We never knew what would work and what would not, but it was always a blast. The icing on the cake was for the children to be able to ask questions of their Peruvian partners about everyday life in South America.”

Level Up Village, the organization offering “Global Storybook Engineers,” explains on its website that its “unique curriculums stimulate unforgettable 1-to-1 interactions between U.S. students and their Global Partner students – interactions that teach STEAM (STEM + Art) and design thinking through collaborative, real-life problem solving on an international scale.”

Click here for a “Global Storybook Engineers” photo gallery and see the original posting of this article on The Independence School website.