Middle School students at Rockway and Reid Elementary are participating in the FUSE program, an incredible opportunity introducing 5th-8th grade students to critical Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math concepts and curriculum.
Teachers Brigitte Williams, Mary Tucker and Jennifer Persaud have been implementing FUSE at Rockway while Art Teacher Jessica Karr has done the same at Reid.
FUSE was developed through Northwestern University and is connected with the YOUmedia studios, one of which is located at the former Springfield South H.S. Dome area. Through FUSE, students participate in challenges, in which the classroom is "flipped" as the student is expected to try various challenges and to work as far and as hard as they want to. Important skills for future success such as problem solving, peer support, computer experiences, as well has hands-on tasks, are developed throughout and issues are rarely, if ever, solved by an adult.
Since mid-September each student has been working with Dream House, an online architecture program. Every student selects a location and a house style, and then begins to build the home from the ground up. Interiors and exteriors are customized by the student. Everything occurs as a digital experience and does not require external equipment.
Recently, students have started to work with their kids, which are paired with directions and video tutorials in the online challenges. The programs, including the kits, were purchased by the Springfield City Schools through the Straight A Grant that Clark-Shawnee Schools partners on with other area districts.
Each challenge/kit includes LED light kits, Game Designer tools for video games, Laser Defender to create a laser beam security system, Get in the Game to design online game controllers, a 3-D printing program called Keychain Customizer, Music Amplifier, Ringtones and Spaghetti Structures for engineering concepts. Each of these options reinforces problem-solving skills, while engaging students in technologically-advanced, hands-on learning in subjects that interest them. Additional kits can be purchased for more variety.
Through FUSE, these students are being exposed to exciting high-tech industries that will open up a world of possibility for their future success!