Who expects that word to come out of the mouth of a kindergartener? I certainly wasn’t expecting it last spring when I attended an IdeaBuilder program at The Biome. However, that is exactly what I experienced.
Teaching Partner Ed Reggi had his class of kindergartners sitting in a circle and he asked them what they had learned during their week-long IdeaBuilder residency. One little boy blurted out the word ‘fulcrum.’ I almost fell out of my chair. At the end of the class, I had the opportunity to talk with Ed and get some of the history behind this young man’s take-away. Ed shared that students had spent the week looking at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related topics which included learning about fulcrums. In his very creative fashion, Ed brought in a 2×4 and a fulcrum (the support allowing a lever to pivot) creating something similar to a teeter-totter. He then proceeded to ask the students if they thought anyone could lift him off the ground using the fulcrum. Ed has a fairly large frame, standing over six feet tall. He picked one of the smallest kindergarten girls to test out the fulcrum. No one in the class of kindergarteners believed that she could lift Ed off the floor. However, as he repositioned the fulcrum, Ed eventually rose into the air. He shared that the little girl’s eyes got as big as saucers as did that of most of the children in the room.
Through this residency, the children also learned about input and output, working with electronic Legos and Skyping with STEM professionals around the globe. It is clear that the lesson on fulcrums was both meaningful and memorable for The Biome students. Springboard believes that meaningful, memorable learning experiences transform a child’s worldview.
Programs such as IdeaBuilder support our mission to develop children’s abilities to think, create, collaborate and communicate. Our vision is that one day all children are passionate, engaged learners who experience success. We look forward to seeing how this type of work transforms the worldview of today’s children into tomorrow’s leaders.
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