What’s Right With Our Schools: OLPH Smart Lab
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – You hear about STEM programs all the time these days. They help students develop a logical thought process, and they are also a gateway to the high paying jobs of tomorrow. Students at OLPH are getting a leg up in their Learning Lab Smart Library.
Principal Caroline Carlin explains, “It falls under a host of different titles because it offers a host of different responsibilities and learning opportunities for our students. Opportunities for our students include to bridge the gap between former ways, to research and collect data with brick and mortar books. It allows access to databases online, but really, where the key lies in this space, is our STEM package and STEM curriculum.
Carlin continues,”There are opportunities for our students to learn to code as early as three years old. So, kids are figuring out patterns and conducting shapes and processes to help them see the connections between coding which exist all around the world today.”
Teresa Hale is the Smart Lab Facilitator at OLPH.
She explains, “A facilitator is really quite different than a regular classroom teacher, in that instead of instructing the kids on what to do, and helping them reach that goal, we kind of just guide the kids toward that goal, and they get there by themselves. They get there through problem-solving, collaborating and working together. We don’t focus on finishing projects. We focus on getting there, and what we have learned, to the point where we have to move on to another project.”
Bryce Fox is a 2nd Grader.
Bryce says, “They made it a lot cooler, I feel like, and we get to do a little bit more activities.”
Principal Carlin concludes. “Our mission statement is to help to develop confident lifelong learners, and having that confidence and being a life long learner comes from experiences that make them feel good about what they are doing. Sometimes, the kids here don’t even realize that they are learning, but just moments ago we saw students that were drawing patterns and lines, and we’re making the connection between the patterns and the code, and the actions that the robots are making. If we can harness that now, the future is boundless for them.”