School Snapshots: Students show off their skills at Learner’s Showcase | MyWindsorNow.com

School Snapshots: Students show off their skills at Learner’s Showcase

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Griffin Boyd, a sixth-grader at Severance Middle School, loves using his school's 3D printer.

He knew he wanted to present something at the 2018 Innovate RE4 Learner's Showcase, and after creating a mini bowling alley on the printer, he had the idea to re-create it on a larger scale.

Griffin used cardboard to form the edges of the alley, placed rocks throughout, and put his 3D-printed bowling pins at the end of the lane. Then he showed a group of people including his grandfather how to draw a path for a Sphero robot on his tablet, press "Start" and hope their spatial estimations were correct. The goal was to get the robot to navigate around the rocks and through the pins for a strike.

Griffin rushed to set pins back up and explain the game to the next child or adult to stop by.

That excitement, said Sheila Bowman, a Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District employee and organizer of Thursday's event, is one of the reasons the district holds the annual showcase.

It's a chance for students to take pride in what they've learned and practice their speaking and presentation skills.

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This year, with more than 100 students participating, projects ranged from a demonstration on bath fizzies created by Tozer Primary students to a presentation called "The Imminent Dangers to Agriculture from Urbanization," presented by Windsor High School student Lauren Bigler.

Jack Farmer, a fourth-grader at Grandview Elementary, created little circuits with buttons, wires or switches, and said he chose the project because it was challenging.

"And I like this because it's useful for the future," he said. "I'll know how to install a light if I need to someday."

Students also looked to the past, like the Windsor Middle School students who gave a presentation called "Old Time Radio."

This year, Bowman said students not only took ownership in their individual presentations but also in the showcase itself.

For the first time since the event's inception nine years ago, Windsor-Severance School District students helped organize the district-wide showcase.

Natalie Green, an eighth-grader at Severance Middle School, said she and her fellow students had fun helping with the planning process, which started four months before Thursday's showcase.

They created videos to promote and introduce the event, helped plan T-shirts and this year's logo and met virtually to collaborate.

The virtual collaboration was eighth-grader Ryley Addy's favorite part of planning because she connected with other students at other schools in the district she had never met.

While each year brings challenges and can leave organizers and students exhausted, Bowman said the pride students show in their work makes it all worth it. They advocate for innovation at the showcase, she said, and show off what they've learned.

But the best part, Bowman said, is seeing the whole school district come together and support each other and even teach each other, as Griffin did to any student who passed by.

"Every year it gets better and better," she said.

For more

The Innovate RE4 Learner’s Showcase is an annual event that brings students from across the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School District together as they present on various topics, or show their interactive projects. For more information, or to view a video of last year’s event, go to bit.ly/LearnersShowcase.

Scholarships

Windsor High School students who participate in the Innovate RE4 Learner’s Showcase can also compete for scholarships. This year’s scholarship winners, announced Thursday, are Awna Hirsch, Megan Burnett, Meghan Haeberle, Gavin Parrott, Anthony Romero, and Dominic Scolari.