Bassett Elementary 4th Graders to “Explore, Make and Take” at Westlake High School

Know Your Home student Arun Suthaharan helps Layla Solhdoost with assembly.

As a capstone celebration of the IB Primary Years Programme, Westlake fourth graders develop an Exhibition project to showcase their learning and interests.

This year, Angie Gerhan’s class at Bassett Elementary chose to focus on the central idea: “What can you explore and make today?” Throughout this extended inquiry, students have brainstormed, questioned, researched using books, videos, and Internet sources, listened to speakers, experimented, and taken action on their ideas.

Last Friday, Ms. Gerhan’s class visited Scott Kutz’s and Adam Purdy’s Technology & Engineering classrooms at Westlake High School in order to further engage in various hands-on activities and expand their knowledge of how and what makers can create based on their interests and exploring different technologies.

Students from the high school TechMates Club, Robotics, and Know Your Home classes worked with and mentored the 4th graders to help build northeast Ohio birdhouses and see demonstrations and presentations on robotics, architecture, design, additive manufacturing technology, laser engraving, computer graphics, airbrushing, and other engineering tools with which professionals work.

The Westlake PTSA sponsored and supplied all the lumber and fasteners for the birdhouses. They used western red cedar in the construction process since it’s easy to work with and holds up well outdoors.

This collaboration, using high school makers and mentors for elementary students, is intended to help broaden students’ perspectives on the potential of today’s youth to affect everyday life and to inspire them for the future.

Students plan to incorporate what they glean from this experience into their Exhibition work.

Among the many visitors attending the EXPLORE & MAKE event to observe the collaboration included Mrs. Barbara Leszynski (Westlake Board of Education President), Mr. Joseph Kraft (Westlake Board of Education Vice President), Dr. Scott Goggin (Westlake City Schools superintendent), Kathi Maxwell (Westlake City Schools associate superintendent of instruction), Mr. Paul Wilson (Westlake High School principal), Mrs. Deb Wadden (International Baccalaureate Coordinator (PYP) at Bassett and Hilliard Elementary Schools) and Mr. Brandon Gibson (staff assistant from the congressional office of the Honorable Anthony Gonzalez).

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