The Lower School Early Childhood (EC) program has been awarded a grant from the Parents Association (PA) to develop an Innovation Station in the EC Atelier. This interactive learning space will engage the students in purposeful play and encourage them to think creatively. In keeping with Ross’s interdisciplinary learning philosophy, the learning experiences designed for the Innovation Station will integrate science, art, technology, math, cultural history, and other domains. Activities proposed in the grant application included students using found materials to create their own musical instruments, deconstructing computer keyboards, or developing coding games and stories.
“In this type of environment, everyone becomes both a learner and an expert. Process is the main focus over product,” said Junellen Tiska, co-director of academics. “This type of center creates the conditions for students to construct their own knowledge and empowers them to make choices about their explorations based on their personal interests and intentions.”
Though the PA grant will fund tools and equipment for the space, the Lower School is accepting donations for project materials. The items they are collecting include pipes made of various materials, paper plates and cups, cardboard boxes, aluminum pie plates, empty cans, plastic eggs, ribbon, dried beans, keyboards, mechanical toys, newspapers, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, and collections of small items like buttons or shells.