Kimmel Farm Elementary participated in MEGA's 12th Annual Showcase for Educational Innovation in Raleigh , NC Wednesday, May 4. MEGA (Middle Educators Global Activities) was established to enable middle school educators through technology and the shared human resources of North Carolina State University, Johnston County Public Schools, and Wake County Public Schools as a pilot project. Its goal - to foster communication and collaboration between the organizations, it was supported by the College of Education and Psychology to ultimately enhance the curriculum in North Carolina middle schools.
Today, MEGA has expanded and encourages K-12 teachers to participate and has grown to over 1,000 members as announced at the showcase. The MEGA Showcase provides a place for students and their teachers to exhibit multimedia and Web projects. Some students from different schools all over North Carolina were there to show how what they do engages them in learning, and educators set up booths to showcase how technology has been integrated to enhance student learning. It is a great place to share ideas, make new friends and grow connections for future learning opportunities. Kimmel Farm Elementary was represented by AG specialist Tori Gray and second grade teacher Sarah Ellington as well as Adriennne Loffredo from CERTL (Center for Excellence in Research Teaching and Learning) our education partner who helps with the integration problem based learning methodology.
The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began almost 150 years ago smashed into the country's northeast coast March 11th devastating the region and leaving destruction in its wake. The day after, first graders at Kimmel Farm were asking questions. Prompted by the canned food drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank that Kimmel Farm took part in during the Thanksgiving season students wanted to know what they could do to help, and wanted to organize another canned food drive.
True to our school's theme first graders and fifth graders collaborated using problem based learning methodology to come up with a viable plan to help. Students in Mrs. Brodeur's first grade class and Mrs. Butler's fifth grade class wrote a real-time PBL lesson where students were told, "A devastating earthquake caused a tsunami to destroy northeast Japan leaving thousands of people unsettled and homeless. Your job is to come up with a list of possible ways we can help the people of Japan recover from this disaster."
Students worked in small groups to come up with a list of "need to knows," and "learning issues" and together came up with a list to present to our principal, Miss Weatherman, who looked at what ideas on the list would be appropriate. In the end, the students voted on their response.
Students made crafts like bookmarks, door hangers, lanyards, and origami creations and asked for donations for themed baskets all to sell at Kimmel Farm's May 2nd PTA Unit Meeting. Raffle tickets were sold for the baskets and the crafts were sold as well. At the end of the night the classes raised over $250 for the relief efforts.