Montgomery School opens its new NOVUS Center
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 PreK8th 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.