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C.B. West High School, Pennsylvania

Greetings from Southeastern PA,

We finished our 4-D collaboration on Feb. 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th. My C.B. West high school students trudged through the snow and ice across the street those days to work with Doyle Elementary school 3rd grade students. We combined our efforts to use the materials purchased through the grant to assist the 3rd graders in studying simple machines, collaboration to make a raceway/obstacle course, create a drawing to scale, and be made aware of solar technology and its applications. My high school students became expert mentors and worked with the third graders to develop valuable problem-solving skills and assist them with the scaled drawing.

Below is the link to view the pictures from our 4-D collaboration. I also will be presenting this activity to other teachers through a summer staff development course and will present this activity to tech. ed. teachers in the fall at our annual Technology and Engineering Education Association of PA (TEEAP) conference in November. I will submit an article in our TEEAP journal for publication in the spring.

I cannot thank you and your company enough for providing the financial assistance in these challenging economic times to assist with providing innovative teaching practices and activities to this generation of students that you or I or many others may not have experienced when we were in school. All of the materials purchased are reusable and we will continue this activity for years to come. I look forward to improving it for years to come.

Below is a poem that I wrote to introduce the activity and the link to the photographs.

Jonathan Taylor,
C.B. West High School, Pennsylvania
2011 N-Vision Grant Winner

Innovator
We woke up to go outside to play.
But it was a dreary rainy day.
Hmmm, maybe we should set up a video game.
After endless hours yesterday, they all seem the same.
Darn it. The internetís down.
Can you tell weíre disappointed by our faces all in a frown.
We have lots of toys.
for every girl and boy.
We would play with them again.
But they need new batteries and most are broken.

Today, whatís in store?
Will it be a big bore?
Oh Man! What can we do?
Just give up. Our choices seem too few.
Itís not fair.
Nobody seems to care.
We canít go on like this.
Too many fun opportunities will be missed.
Wait a second. I have an idea. I really do.
Says the innovator, the one thatís inside of you.
Letís call all of our friends.
Their help could mean everything in the end.
Our innovator minds together could think of new things.
To investigate during this dayís fling.
Letís use our toys to create.
Letís fix the broken onesí and use them to innovate.
We talk as ideas abound.
They circulate the room all around.
Letís grab them out of the air to draw up a plan.
Letís use those ideas to give it all we can.
Weíll use our thinking forces
to gather and utilize all of our resources.

Weíll involve math
It seems like a logical path.
But waitÖ
weíll need to effectively communicate.
Science and technology we almost forgot to mention
To define our discoveries and get others attention.
Our ideas we will organize
Our creation, it can be finalized.
Who cares if itís not the best.
Or if our ideas fail the reality test.
We have to try.
To say itís easy, is a lie.

Letís work it out.
Perseverance is what itís all about.
Through hard work, we will make our creation work, they say.
This really turned out to be a most satisfying day.
Tomorrow, we will take this project further.
Itís definitely the way, the path of the innovator.

To view photos of this project, click the below link:
http://thewis.smugmug.com/School/20100207-3rd-Grade-CB-West/15833073_DW7KU#1187208337_xEcr3

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