For the last 5 weeks, I have been working with several vendors who offer after-school programs. My role is to coordinate classes for our public school and make sure every student is accounted for by attending their enrolled class. I have been volunteering in these after-school classes for a little over 3 years. Each year, it amazes me how the educational opportunities get better and better for our students. This year, we had the opportunity to offer some incredible educational opportunities to our elementary students including Fashion Camp, Pre-Lego Engineering, STEM Child Creativity Lab and Basketball. Take a look inside the classrooms with me.
Fashion Camp was new to the program this year. The class is held once a week over the course of (6) weeks. The vendor brings all of the materials for the week’s lesson plan. This year, they taught basic sewing to our students who range from 3rd to 5th grade. Each girl is taught how to design, cut, sew and finish an item. For this course, they are making the cutest over the shoulder handbags. The instructor includes some fun, project runway-style challenges and lessons in fashion illustration.
Pre Lego Engineering is an engaging creative learning and play time for kids. In class, students learn building techniques for creating cars, planes and more then race against their friends. General instructions are given to the students on how to build a machine but it's up to the student to create their own unique build. The process teaches them how to correctly identify the parts of the machine, such as a wheel and axel, and how to securely place the pieces.
STEM Child Creativity Lab is a unique way of applying play and engineering. The class promotes very out of the box thinking and creativity. The instructor provides each student a bag filled with cleaned recycled items pulled from the trash where they are shown how to recycle, repurpose and reuse. The students are then asked to design to a theme using the pieces in front of him/her. Each student takes his/her design to the hot glue station where they must communicate their vision to an adult volunteer who assists by only following the designer’s instructions. During the process, the kids are encouraged to think like engineers, builders, designers and storytellers. After their creations are complete, they are invited to take the center stage to present the story behind their creation to their classmates.