Learning overflows at middle school

Clarkston News Staff Writer

Savannah Wheeler with her project. Photo by Jessica Steeley
Savannah Wheeler with her project. Photo by Jessica Steeley

Sashabaw Middle School students led their family members through the school’s first learning showcase May 23.
“This is our first learners showcase, we worked with the junior high last year. They were a little bit more prepped to do it and we weren’t as ready last year, and so we sat back and watched and learned from them,” Principal Elizabeth Walker said. “Then this year, we jumped on board to be a part of that, so we could showcase the students learning throughout the entire year.”
Work was on display through the hallways, classrooms, media center and cafeteria, along with orchestra students playing music throughout the building.
STEAM Teacher Beth Patton had an assortment of projects on display from her producing and inventing classes. Some projects were construction focused, others leaned heavily on technology.
“We incorporate all aspects of STEAM, so science, technology, engineering, art and math,” Patton said.
One of Patton’s students, Savannah Wheeler, used a Makey Makey to create a closed-circuit system to control movement in video games on her laptop, such as PACMAN. She’s been coding since fourth grade.
Wheeler described a Makey Makey as a simplified version of a motherboard that anyone can use. She attached it to aluminum foil on the fingertips of an old glove and used her fingers to control the game’s movement, instead of the arrow keys.
“All it is is a really fun way to make your own coding using a bunch of household items,” Wheeler said. “It’s just really fun to make all the different things.”
Science Teacher Kathy Schwach had her students’ genetics project on display. Her class created aliens based on a flip-of-a-coin genotype and phenotype, then drew an alien based on its physical characteristics.
Schwach also displayed wheelchair and stroller models her careers class made. The class focuses on the career pathways and the project used the engineering and human services pathways.
This is just a sample of the work exhibited, which also included cross-curricular projects and departments teaming up to display student work.
“We wanted a way in order to showcase what our students have done throughout the year, they’re learning journey,” Walker said. “That’s kind of why we decided to do it, so that parents and community members can come in and see what we’ve done and our thinking and learning for the year.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.