GCPS Team Completes Children’s Engineering Course

[from left to right] Andrea Cachina (GES), Sara DeLong (GES), Betsy Alvis (GES), Libby Routson (GES), Jamie-Ellen Spessard (RES), Kim Wilson (RES), Tim Greenway (GHS), Rhonda Kass (GMS), and Tom Case (GMS)

Here’s the best definition of Children’s Engineering I’ve seen:

Preparing the students of today to become productive citizens of the future requires our educational system to promote life-long learners who are able to work together to solve realistic problems and develop a basic understanding of the natural and humanly modified world around them.

Information presented in a familiar and mind-engaging context leads to greater understanding and retention, as compared to memorization of facts in isolation. Research indicates that retention is greatest when students are actively engaged, put their knowledge into immediate practice, and become “teachers” of other students. Children’s Engineering activities directly address these issues.http://www.childrensengineering.com/

Over the past six and a half months, nine of our teachers have participated as students in James Madison University’s 3-credit graduate class in Children’s Engineering. They’ve worked hard to become experts in designing and delivering classroom instruction centered on the principles in the definition above.

GCPS hosted this course on-site in Goochland and deferred much of the associated cost. Instructional approaches that focus on student engagement, critical thinking, creativity, and deep learning are significant priorities reflected in the division’s recently-adopted strategic plan.

Congratulations to this dedicated team of nine. Thank you for your investment in our school community!