Hitchcock Academy comes to SMK

The Final Challenge- A Community Event
Posted on 03/22/2022
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Katie announcing the final challenge

March 22nd, 2022
Thanks to a generous grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council STARS (Students and Teachers working with Artists, Scientists and Scholars), Katie
of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst has been visiting SMK Elementary School for the past two weeks. Each third-grade classroom was visited five times in one-hour blocks, and the students were presented with a hands-on challenge focused on science. Katie explained that each day was
a new challenge, ranging from day one, where they had to do a marble run, given only a minimum number of tubes and masking tape, to day five, building their own pully systems. In each session the students worked in groups. They learned and utilized skills along the way such as “listening to each other’s ideas and implementing them, sharing their work with the class, coping with frustration when things go wrong, and persisting after making mistakes.”

Friday, March 18th, was their final challenge that the students were well prepared for. Each student was allowed to invite one parent to participate. Like the other challenges the students were split into groups. They had 45 minutes to build a chain reaction machine. The chain reaction machine had to meet certain criteria such as needing to do 3 things before ringing a bell, and like other challenges each group was given a certain number of set materials. Since this final challenge incorporated the lessons learnt along the way, Katie told parents to listen to your students' ideas and let them lead. Two other employees of Hitchcock Center, Dan, and Helen Ann attended this event as well. Helen Ann stated this was one of the most successful community events because parents were excited to see their child in action and the students were proud of their work, all were engaged!

Check out some pictures below!
A group working on the final challengeA group working on their final project
Group working on final challengeGroup working on final challenge

group working on final projectgroup working on final project