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Working Together at Emma's Summer Academy
Working Together at Emma's Summer Academy
Posted on 07/12/2021
Ms. Robin Francis’ students at Emma Elementary School, from the Erwin, Enka, and North Buncombe districts, imagined playing ball together and accidentally losing the ball over a fence with dangerous equipment on the other side. They had to figure out how to get the ball back without climbing over the fence. Students passed around simple machines like an inclined plane, a wedge, and a pulley system and discussed in small groups how they could use these machines to help get the ball back. It was an exciting way to reintroduce the second graders to science and geometry concepts.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

BCS Summer Academy second graders “had a ball” with their weekly problem-based learning project!

Ms. Robin Francis’ students at Emma Elementary School, from the Erwin, Enka, and North Buncombe districts, imagined playing ball together and accidentally losing the ball over a fence with dangerous equipment on the other side. They had to figure out how to get the ball back without climbing over the fence. Students passed around simple machines like an inclined plane, a wedge, and a pulley system and discussed in small groups how they could use these machines to help get the ball back. It was an exciting way to reintroduce the second graders to science and geometry concepts.

“It really helps them to think, rationalize, and strategize,” Ms. Francis said. “They make new friends and work together on these hands-on projects. They get to test their ideas and make these lessons more concrete.”

She and teacher assistant Allison Hirsch prompted the students to explain their individual ideas to each other and collaborate on an overall team plan. The resulting plans often were surprisingly simple and effective.

“They see everything with fresh eyes, and it’s exciting to see what they’re thinking and how they’re going to problem solve it,” Ms. Francis said.

Second graders Sofia and Sinai decided to attach a bucket to the pulley, nudge the ball closer to the fence, and scoop it up against the fence.

“We can try to learn new things,” Sofia said. “We can try different things and see if they work or not. It’s fun.”

BCS Summer Academy: Full STEAM Ahead is a comprehensive recovery effort, designed by BCS curriculum coaches, that utilizes problem-based learning as its core approach to connect reading, writing, speaking, listening, and moving with hands-on experimentation and design.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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