Mrs. Carmen Synovec, Lower-school 1st grade teacher, informed that her classes have recently participated in a various science research that have strengthened their learning about plant life through the use of technology. Specifically, students learned to independently read QR codes (two-dimensional barcode) using the Qrafter app. Mrs. Synovec informed, “The students watched videos showing the time-lapse growth of a bean plant and oak tree, which reinforced the concepts they had learned while reading How a Seed Grows, a selection from their reading books. They also viewed an animated version of The Garden by Arnold Lobel, another selection studied during reading time. Another video showed them how to draw flowers; then they created their own on paper.”

Mrs. Anissa Labrador, Montverde Academy’s Instructional Technology Coordinator, is very pleased with how the infusion of technology has supported MVA Lower-school science learning. She shared with, “Educators are making the shift from passive learning to active learning with the use of technology as a tool. This video perfectly shows the transformation that occurs in a classroom when teachers integrate technology into their curriculum seamlessly. Students are motivated to learn, find answers to their questions, and access information to further their own understanding. Teachers guide their students to explore and learn beyond what it available in a traditional textbook. iPads, fearless teachers, and enthusiastic students are making all this possible at MVA!” An excellent video illustrating Montverde Academy’s Lower-school IPad initiative (and the use of educational technology/QR codes) in learning about plant life can be seen HERE.

In related Lower-school academic news, last month, MVA 1st grade students conducted experiments that involved using the “power of the sun” to complete a science unit about weather. As an accompaniment to their weather study, students heated s’mores in solar ovens. The outdoor solar experiments involved manipulating the sun’s heating capability to melt chocolate and marshmallow on graham crackers! Now that’s some tasty science! Students used black colored shoe-boxes lined with aluminum foil (in the space where food ingredients were placed) and constructed slits to allow direct sunlight from outside the MVA Lower-school building. The annual 1st grade science project was monitored by teachers Mrs. Debbie Irwin, Mrs. Carmen Synovec, and Ms. Sandy Tamasi to guarantee proper scientific methods, processes, and sanitation.

Also in March, MVA Lower-school 3rd graders visited the Orlando Science Center! According to their website, for over fifty years the OSC “… has been a place that inspires curiosity and exploration. Truly one of the great activities for Orlando families, the Science Center encourages learning in a fun way. We’re the perfect educational activity, fun and knowledge all under one roof. For visitors from out of town, Orlando Science Center is a must for your “things to do in Orlando” list. With four floors of exciting exhibits, amazing giant screen movies and engaging live programming, the Science Center is the perfect family destination. We’re also the ideal rainy day activity – fun for your entire family and completely indoors!”