- Cheltenham High School
Ed Affairs Hosts Interactive STEM, PBL and Challenge-Focused Open House
(March 24, 2023) On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the CSD Board of School Directors hosted its monthly Educational Affairs meeting, which featured a presentation on innovative instructional practices across the district with displays and demonstrations of student work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), project based learning (PBL) and the Challenge program. A dozen teachers and dozens of students representing grades three through 12 from all seven schools participated in the community event. Following a presentation on the alignment of the new strategic plan with a vision for deeper learning, attendees interacted with teachers and students through a gallery walk of examples of the deeper learning work that has already begun.
Demonstrations from Ms. Bianchini from Myers Elementary, Ms. Brooks from Glenside Elementary, and Ms. Lee and Ms. Darwin from Elkins Park School included the use of coding technology to control sound and movement with a Makey-Makey. “Controlled movement” was also a theme through Lego robotics and Ozobots in a display of connecting technology and engineering with English Language Arts. Ms. Hobson from Wyncote Elementary and Mr. Osea from Myers Elementary demonstrated the First Lego League Robotics competition. Mr. Morrison from Glenside Elementary demonstrated Ozobot coding with color. Both robotics projects can be seen in classrooms at Cheltenham Elementary, Glenside Elementary, Myers Elementary and Wyncote Elementary.
Science, social studies, and technology were seen in projects on display from Ms. Bianchini (circuitry), and Mr. Stanford (geography and 3D printing) and Mr. Rose (Black history and laser cutting) from Cedarbrook Middle School. Student work from Mr. Rose’s STEM class also included a visual representation of mathematics through their String Art project. In a collaborative effort, Cedarbrook’s Mr. Quenzer, Wyncote Elementary’s Ms. Dibattista and Cheltenham High School’s Ms. Putterman provided middle school students with the opportunity to design a digital learning app for third grade students with mentoring from high school students. Mr. Quenzer’s students invited attendees to interact with their apps on a Smartboard.
Ms. Cella and Mr. Kwas provided examples of project based learning with projects demonstrated by students completed for their “Power Project,” which the high school exhibited in February. The physical projects included “The Brain,” “The Gear Shift,” and “The DNA Project.” The PBL9 project included stop-motion videos titled “The Arctic Fox/The Arctic Ground Squirrel” and “Dendrobium Mobile Orchid/Palm Tree.” A recording of the play created by students in grade 10 PBL was available for viewing. The project consisted of an original script adapted from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” the design and construction of the set, and live production of the play. This project was originally exhibited in January.
Finally, high school students from Ms. Putterman’s computer science program and Mr. Smith’s Challenge course presented a variety of passion projects following the tenets of design thinking. Ms. Putterman’s students completed projects in the areas of digital game design, Cyber:bots, and coding. Mr. Smith’s students made connections to the larger community in the development of made-to-order, personalized journals stocked for on-line purchasing, innovations in shovel design for gardening, and creative writing to bring a new horror novel to fans of the genre.