Mont­gomery School opens its new NOVUS Cen­ter

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - COMMUNITY -

On Nov. 8, Mont­gomery School cel­e­brated the open­ing of its NOVUS Cen­ter, lo­cated in the Rawd­ing Room of the Gresh Aca­demic Cen­ter. The new NOVUS Cen­ter fa­cil­i­tates hands-on learn­ing and STEAM pro­jects for ev­ery grade level PreK-8th. The pur­pose, as ex­plained by Mid­dle School Science Depart­ment Chair and teacher Wendy Sheldrick, is to “en­sure that our stu­dents have the skills nec­es­sary to be suc­cess­ful in the jobs of the fu­ture. We need our stu­dents to learn prob­lem­solv­ing strate­gies, to think crit­i­cally and cre­atively, to com­mu­ni­cate and col­lab­o­rate with oth­ers, and to per­se­vere when some­thing does not work the first time.”

Mont­gomery stu­dents in PreK-8th grade cre­ated, col­lab­o­rated, and de­signed pro­jects us­ing ma­te­ri­als in the NOVUS Cen­ter. PreK and Kin­der­garten made and tested owl nests; 1st grade did Makey Makey ac­tiv­i­ties; 2nd grade cre­ated new Elec­tric book­marks; 3rd grade worked on cod­ing; 4th grade used “Lit­tle Bits”; and 5th used Scratch pro­gram­ming lan­guage. The Mid­dle School stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a spe­cial chal­lenge based on Archimedes’ Prin­ci­ple, build­ing float­ing rafts that can hold weight. The NOVUS Cen­ter will fa­cil­i­tate stu­dents’ learn­ing of in­no­va­tive de­sign skills in a broad va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the year.

After a se­ries of fac­ulty train­ings on us­ing the 3-D printer, and a tour of po­ten­tial uses for the NOVUS Cen­ter’s ma­te­ri­als, fac­ulty mem­bers have be­gun in­cor­po­rat­ing the cen­ter into their grade cur­ricu­lum. Al­ready this year, stu­dents in Mid­dle School so­cial stud­ies have completed a DaVinci De­sign Project, build­ing from Leonardo DaVinci’s orig­i­nal de­signs to cre­ate sev­eral ob­jects in­clud­ing a para­chute, cross­bow, and ro­tat­ing bridge. In sec­ond grade, stu­dents have en­vi­sioned and con­structed a liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment for their home­made “wack­ysac peo­ple,” that mod­els the Na­tive Amer­i­can cul­ture they are study­ing. In ad­di­tion, 8th grade stu­dents raced 3-D printed cars, 6th grade stu­dents built mod­els of in­va­sive or­gan­isms, and 5th grade stu­dents built homes for adopted “pets.”

Head of School Sally Kei­del said, “The NOVUS Cen­ter is chang­ing the way our stu­dents are learn­ing by giv­ing them ac­cess to ma­te­ri­als, and time to col­lab­o­rate and in­no­vate. As a PreK - 8th grade school, we feel it es­pe­cially im­por­tant to ex­pose our stu­dents to these skills start­ing in their ear­li­est years. We can’t wait to see where this ex­cit­ing new space leads our stu­dents!”

For more in­for­ma­tion about Mont­gomery School, visit www. mont­gomeryschool.org

Mont­gomery School cel­e­brated the open­ing of its NOVUS Cen­ter.

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