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Summer school sparks the imagination

For some of Farmington Students, summer isn’t about countless hours at the pool, playing baseball or sitting at home gaming all summer. It’s about designing your own car, creating culinary alternatives or simply learning the art of tinkering.

“We do have some students who are required to go to summer school, and we go back and try teaching the standards in a different way to help them move on,” said Dr. Travena Hostetler, the summer school principal for the fifth through eighth grade summer school program. “But the majority of our kids are here because they want a hands-on learning experience and hang out with their friends in a fun environment. Additionally, their parents know they are safe and not at home alone when they are at work.”

This year, students have several options for hands-on learning including a class where they will help write curriculum for the district, another where they may become the next Gordon Ramsay and another where they become an inventor and a “tinker.”

“A couple of classes that made this summer were tech classes,” Hostetler said. “One of the classes is Kidopolis where students are researching different cities and designing their own.”

During this class, students are doing more than just learn about Farmington and other cities. They area also learning how to create a lesson plan for first graders that the district will ultimately use.

“Part of the curriculum has fifth- and sixth-grade student exploring the city of Farmington and developing videos about the city,” Hostetler said. “We will then use the videos to help our first graders learn about cities, specifically Farmington. So they are actually helping write curriculum for the district.”

Hostetler did add there is a bit of a learning curve with this project. They do not know how many landmarks they are going to be able to cover this summer, so it might have to be expanded in the future.

In addition to the Kidopolis, students can learn about the culinary industry in the district’s Junior Chef Class. Students have been watching different shows on the Food Network as part of their class, among other things.

One show had students learning about carnival food, and since Country Days was held this past weekend, the teachers took advantage of the midway being in town and went on a walking field trip to learn about the food served from vendors.

“The kids priced the different foods that were being served by the vendors,” Hostetler said. “Once they got back, they looked at how much it would cost for them to make the same thing, and how much of a profit or loss they would make off of their dishes.”

In addition, Hostetler did add the class was also trying to see if they could create a healthier version of carnival food.

Another class becoming a favorite for summer school is the Makerspace class taught by Faith Gann and Kate Dillon. During this class, student learn how to “tinker.”

According to makerspace.com, a makerspace is a “collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools…with a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, cnc machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.”

“In the library, kids can choose to work on different things at eight or so different stations,” Hostetler said. “One station simply had them trying to put back together a ceiling fan. Our kids were looking at it and trying to figure out how to do it so that it would work once they were done.”

One of the most popular task in this class has students designing and building their own battery powered car. According to Hostetler, they are given the supplies needed and left to their own creative devices.

“I saw three or four students putting their cars together,” Hostetler said. “They were so excited when they got their car to power up and drive in a straight line and not into a wall.”

Although summer school started last week and will run until June 27, Hostetler said there is still time to enroll. For more information about classes, contact Lincoln Intermediate School at 701-1340.

Summer school at Lincoln Intermediate is no longer about just credit recovery. Now, it is about hands on educational opportunities. Connor Spiker, left, Kaden Counts and Talon Jones work together during their Makerspace class to figure out how a printer works.  

Summer school at Lincoln Intermediate is no longer about just credit recovery. Now, it is about hands on educational opportunities. Connor Spiker, left, Kaden Counts and Talon Jones work together during their Makerspace class to figure out how a printer works.  

During Laura Wadlow's engineering games class, students used Country Days as their inspiration to create their own games. Justin Weston, Mar Southern and Oliver Cook play a carnival game they created, called

During Laura Wadlow’s engineering games class, students used Country Days as their inspiration to create their own games. Justin Weston, Mar Southern and Oliver Cook play a carnival game they created, called “baskee ball”. 

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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