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Manassas Next - Schools Update

As a part of the Manassas Next initiative, we created a "Science and Technology" program for the schools.  Not to be outdone, the schools have renamed it "Children's Engineering...:)  Hereafter is an update from the School on the program:

Professional Development

  • Trained 22 elementary and middle school teachers in the principles of children's engineering.  Each teacher left with at least three design briefs tailored to individual classroom needs.

  • Ten design briefs developed by our teachers have been submitted for publication on the Children's Engineering website.

  • James Madison University's ISAT501: Eighteen teachers in grades K-8 are enrolled in a Children's Engineering graduate level course, Workshop in Technology: Children's Engineering, taught by Adjunct Professor Marcia Hickey, who currently serves on the Children's Engineering Council in Virginia.  These teachers will learn engineering skills in specific technologies and share them with their grade level peers and their students for use as tools in problem solving.

What's Happening in Schools and Classrooms?

Baldwin, Dean Weems, Mayfield and Metz have implemented the first engineering project for all of their students through the science teachers.  Many teachers opted to do a project called Tall Towers.  Working in groups, students must meet the criteria for building the tallest structure possible using only one 8.5 x 11 in sheet of paper and 12 inches of masking tape.  Others have begun the technology of pop-up books.

In both projects, students receive a design brief outlining a problem with specific engineering criteria that must be met.  Each student restates the problem in her/her own words and creates multiple solutions to the engineering problem.  Then the group decides upon an optimal solution.  Collaboratively the group creates the solution and tests each criterion.  Each group is required to present its unique solution and evaluate the results.

Lego Clubs

Lego League Clubs create a fun format for learning to solve problems in a collaborative way.  This year the4 international organization has chosen the theme Climate Connections.  There are two levels of involvement:

  • Junior First Lego League (ages 6-9) invites the team to create a project board recording the students' research findings and to design and build a Lego creation that offers a solution to or a model of the problem.

  • First Lego League (ages 9-14) requires students to design and build a Lego robot which must run an obstacle course meeting specific criteria based on the theme.

We have registered twenty teams for this school year.  Three from each elementary school; four from Mayfield and one at Metz.



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