“Music for All” Plays Allendale Columbia

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by klapa
On Wednesday, March 22nd and Thursday, March 23rd, Lower School students had the opportunity to hear one of the three chamber music ensembles who visited as part of “Music for All,” an Eastman School of Music program that places outstanding student musicians in various venues throughout the local community for free performances. The musicians were both entertaining and informative, taking questions from our young audiences, explaining what was happening in the music, and igniting students’ imagination with the music they played.

On Wednesday morning, fourth and fifth graders heard a program of French impressionist music by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, performed by two pianists. On Thursday afternoon, the second grade attended a performance by a piano trio (violin, cello, and piano) that featured two movements of a piece by Clara Schumann. Also on Thursday afternoon, the kindergarten and first grade enjoyed a performance of music by J. S. Bach, Antonin Dvorak, Reinhold Gliere, and John Philip Sousa, performed by a tuba quartet (that’s right, FOUR TUBAS!).

All of these performances were amazing. We were very fortunate for the cultural enrichment and listening pleasure that the students from the Eastman School of Music shared with our young students through the “Music for All” program.

Here are a few links of video excerpts from the performances:
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

Opening Day 2016!

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by kvella

The 2016-2017 school year is off to a great start! Students and faculty enthusiastically returned for the new school year, and were welcomed by the Class of 2017 who cheered for everyone coming to campus on the first day of school. Check out these photos from the first day of AC’s 126th year!

Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Programming Drone Aerial Navigation: Elementary S.T.E.M. Project-Based Learning Unit

Posted on May 16th, 2016 by ssorrentino

Drone Logo Image2

In a culminating event, young Allendale Columbia School students “stretched their wings” with programming drone aerial navigation as part of an Elementary S.T.E.M. PBL Unit. Project-Based Learning (PBL) entails a collaborative learning experience as students work in teams on long-term, multidisciplinary projects that are structured around real-world, relevant, and probing questions. Collaboratively facilitated by their S.T.E.M. and homeroom teachers, fourth and fifth grade students at Allendale Columbia School have been participating in this joint PBL Unit since the beginning of the school year.

This was an amazing teaching and learning experience for everyone, and we invite you to peruse the steps along our PBL journey as portrayed in the images below…

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School

Designing, Programming, and 3D-Printing in 3rd Grade S.T.E.M. Class

Posted on April 12th, 2016 by ssorrentino

 

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Unit background PRIOR to 3D-printing original designs in 3rd grade S.T.E.M. Class…

Throughout their Sound Unit, aptly named The Sound of Music, our 3rd Grade S.T.E.M. students focused on how sound works and how physical environments and culture play an important role on the specific materials used to create musical instruments. To introduce this part of the unit, the students participated in various station activities centered on the percussion, string, and woodwind families of musical instruments. Each station activity compared and contrasted different types of materials used to create the instruments. For example, does pitch change if an instrument is filled with one type of material versus another? What happens when different materials (wire, rope, cord) are used for transmitting sound waves? Students learned even more from our visiting musicians Dr. Keith Jones, Mr. Artie Cruz, and Mr. Gabe Costanzo who each demonstrated and played some of the lesser known instruments from various countries, including: Didgeridoo, Harmonium, Theramin, Guzheng, and more! Visit STEMspotlight to view more photos and videos of these classroom learning experiences.

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Back to 3D-printing original designs in 3rd grade S.T.E.M. Class…

For their Sound Unit final project, our 3rd grade S.T.E.M. students each devised their own story behind an imaginary discovery of an ancient musical instrument. Students documented details on the location of this discovery, the history and culture of the imagined community, as well as the general design and function of their musical instrument. Culminating this writing activity, the remaining Sound Unit classes resumed in the new Design & Innovation Lab housing the school’s 3D-printers. In the lab, students continued with further designing their “ancient musical instruments” by initially sketching and then diagramming, scaling, and providing specific measurements to be programmed using Tinkercad.

To get started on the next phase of this project, the students were provided class instruction on using the computer-aided design (CAD) programming software under the direction of the Lower School S.T.E.M. Team and in collaboration with Middle School Hybrid Learning Coordinator, Mr. Tony Tepedino. Students quickly grasped the programming concepts, were highly engaged with seeing their original designs evolve into actual CAD models, and did a great job with also assisting their classmates with design and programming suggestions.

Mr. Tepedino also demonstrated and explained the 3D-printing process as well as the design implications with ensuring structural integrity in the final, 3D-printed projects. Most exciting of all, our S.T.E.M. students were thrilled with the physical models they first imagined, then designed, programmed, and successfully 3D-printed!

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Third Grade

4th Grade S.T.E.M. Students Initiate Exciting School Partnership with Vortex Bladeless

Posted on March 23rd, 2016 by ssorrentino

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For a following Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit of study, student teams of four began extensive research to identify a specific global problem to solve as active participants in the 2016 DuPont Challenge.

Revisiting their learning about wind power, one team of students discovered how dangerous wind turbines are for wildlife since it is estimated that wind turbines are responsible for the deaths of 500,000 birds and bats each year. As a result of their findings, the students identified their PBL driving question:

Is it possible to harness the wind without hurting wildlife?

Next, students brainstormed some initial ideas on how to solve for this real world issue:

After brainstorming some possible solutions, students researched the feasibility and implications of the specific ideas they came up with. However, the team soon found out…

Instead of giving up on solving for this real world problem, the team of students persevered and researched other innovative ideas. Eventually the team stumbled upon an isolated image of a bladeless wind turbine which piqued their interest. With no references available on this intriguing image, the students dug deeper to uncover more information on the device, its creator, how it functions, etc. until finally identifying Vortex Bladeless, located in Madrid, as the start-up company behind this innovative technology.

Through further investigation, the students were also able to track down the direct contact information for one of the Co-CEOs of the company, David Suriol. The team eagerly emailed David and shared their strong interest in learning more about the Vortex Bladeless System. David responded almost immediately – and a new and exciting global partnership was formed!

With so many questions to ask, an initial Skype session was soon scheduled. Prior to the Skype meeting, the team prepared their specific list of questions for learning more about how the Vortex Bladeless System works, how the idea first developed, etc. Throughout the exciting Skype session, the team learned a lot about the system, how it efficiently functions while also being safe for wildlife, and how it is currently in final testing stages inside of actual wind tunnels.

Video covering product conception and development:

In addition, the students also learned that a company goal is to break into the U.S. marketplace. Learning about this particular company goal, the team voiced their strong interest in bringing this innovative technology to the Allendale Columbia School campus. In order to take the first step toward achieving this goal, the team scheduled a time to present their idea to the school’s Buildings and Grounds Committee. In preparation for this meeting, the students created a new presentation specifically for the committee, and on February 26th, the students pitched their idea on why AC should consider the installation of the Vortex Bladeless System on the school campus. The presentation was enthusiastically received by the committee, who requested that the students take the next step by scheduling and actually leading a second Skype session with David and the entire Buildings and Grounds Committee for the purpose of further investigating the students’ exciting proposal.

Gr4_Skype with Committee

The students worked on developing a specific set of questions that were submitted to Co-CEO David Suriol prior to the next Skype session. Questions included requests for information on product specifications, shipping, installation, maintenance, and so on. The global Skype meeting, held on March 18th, was very informative and engaging for everyone involved. Plans are now in place to continue this real world, collaborative partnership with the Madrid-based company offering to provide a first generation, one-hundred watt Bladeless Vortex Wind Turbine to be installed on the AC school campus.

Working alongside the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the student team will be involved in all phases of installation, maintenance, data acquisition, and reporting back to Co-CEO David Suriol of Vortex Bladeless. Further development and implementation of this technology will continue to evolve throughout this exciting global partnership!


ADDENDUM:

For the DuPont Challenge, students work in teams of four to choose a specific global problem to solve for. The team topics chosen this year include:

(1) developing the best way to plant milkweed for yielding optimal results in an attempt to help the drastically dwindling population of monarch butterflies;

(2) devising alternative ways to grow food with the shrinking availability of land coupled with an increasing global population;

(3) innovating a way to make wind turbines safer for wildlife (since it is estimated that wind turbines are responsible for the death of 500,000 birds and bats each year); and,

(4) investigating the feasibility of Allendale Columbia School going solar to reduce its carbon footprint.

Visit our LS STEM Spotlight to view all the 4th grade DuPont Challenge final project submissions in their entirety – you will be impressed with the collaborative, real world learning our young S.T.E.M. students continue to enthusiastically demonstrate!

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Last of all, let’s wish all our student teams the best of luck with their DuPont Challenge 2016 project submissions!

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School

REVTOS Renewable Energy Training System

Posted on December 18th, 2015 by ssorrentino

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In partnership with Alfred State College, REVTOS (a renewable energy training system) has been placed on the Allendale Columbia School campus through the months of November and December. The REVTOS System is comprised of a 30′ x 5′ solar panel and a 30′ high wind turbine. The remote monitoring and data logging box has been housed in the Lower School S.T.E.M. classrooms. S.T.E.M. students, grades K through 5, have been taking advantage of this system being on our campus by completing a variety of solar and wind power experiments and data collection.

Our kindergarten students have been learning how the solar panels and the wind turbine are being used to create energy, and have also participated in wind power labs for understanding the various characteristics of an object that make it more or less susceptible to moving via the wind. Through experimentation and testing, the students have determined that weight, height, and shape are factors that decide how far an object can move in the wind.

First graders have been learning about solar energy by participating in labs to help them understand the difference between the heat from the sun and energy from the sun.

To help further their learning, second grade students constructed anemometers, and by counting how many times their reference spun around in one minute, the students were able to calculate the wind speed in feet per second.

Third and fourth graders have been studying about renewable and nonrenewable energy throughout their experimental labs demonstrating the different properties of reflection and absorption.

Along with participating in similar labs, fifth grade students created functional solar ovens made from pizza boxes.  In addition, students designed and constructed their own windmills which were tested for various loads with determining their effectiveness.

Data collected from the REVTOS System will also provide the specific information needed for ongoing research projects in our Lower School S.T.E.M. labs. This continues to be a wonderful learning opportunity for all of our S.T.E.M. students and we would like to thank Alfred State College for providing our students access to this authentic, renewable energy training system!

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade