In the “Artistic Edible” enrichment cluster students grabbed a plate and unleashed their imaginations! Students explored their own creativeness creating works of art. Who would think a simple grape and strawberry could be transformed into a beautiful flower arrangement? Students narrowed down their service project, spending time teaching the kindergartners and first graders here at LME. Each week students visited classrooms, read to classes, cooked then taught a craft using tasty treats. The crafts were too yummy to make it home!
The “Voracious Volunteers” began our enrichment cluster by discussing what we know about volunteering and talking about why people volunteer. We learned about the difference between philanthropy and volunteering, watched videos to teach us more, and brainstormed possible audiences for a product or service. We hosted the guests Mrs. Andrews and Emma (a golden retriever) to teach us about the Austin Dog Alliance and the Bow Wow Reading program. Mrs. Andrews talked about how volunteering is meaningful in her life, while Emma provided a fun interaction time by being sweet and letting us pet her. We also hosted the director of the Rock Serving Center and learned how we can help people in need. We then honed in on our service projects and decided we wanted to help homeless animals and people.
During subsequent sessions we made leashes, dog treats, dog blankets and chew toys. We also wrote thank you cards that the shelters can give out when someone adopts a pet. That is how we helped animals in the community.
To help people in need in the community, we organized a hygiene drive. We made posters and flyers to advertise the drive. We also filmed videos that ran on KPAW morning announcements to let students know what to bring in. We collected over 1500 hygiene items to give to the Round Rock Serving Center to be distributed to Round Rock residents in need!
We are glad to serve needs in the community and combine our efforts for the benefit of others. We are leaving the cluster energized and grateful for the experience of helping others.
Serious About Science
Chemistry, physics, botany.....oh my! Our serious scientists were able to conduct hands-on experiments in almost every branch of science during our time together! Our experiments spanned from growing crystals to working with solar energy and creating vampire slime to lava lamps. We also used technology to create a Padlet (virtual wall) to post Steve Spangler Science videos of many of the experiments we conducted. For the cluster showcase we will be handing out QR codes that will take you to our Padlet so you can have fun with hands on science too! We hope to engage our audience in a little bit of science Pictionary we played to teach and learn science vocabulary.
The” Minecraft Masters” decided to create a redstone tutorial world to teach others how to make redstone projects. The students divided themselves into three teams, each headed by a team manager, then elected an overall project manager to keep the work on track. The project consisted of a giant hollow cloud full of redstone projects, linked to an underwater glass dome (also full of redstone projects) by a beautiful stained-glass rainbow bridge. The students did a fantastic job working together in teams, and learned lots of new things from each other about the more complicated aspects of Minecraft. Their "Rainbow Cloud World" looks amazing!
LME Explorers Guild
We had a great time delving into the unknown for the past eight weeks. Our cluster was all about exploring famous monsters and mysteries, and the students were allowed to choose their own topic. Their choices were diverse...from Banksy the street artist to Bigfoot! Once the students had made their selection, we began researching our topics using a variety of print and digital media. When it came time to create something for the showcase, the products were as diverse as the topics. They included Google Slides presentations, PowToon videos, Inklewriter interactive stories, and more. We hope you enjoy their products. Students were asked to look at the evidence and make their own conclusions. The truth is out there!
WRITING IS RIGHT!
In the “Writing is Right!” enrichment cluster, we spent a lot of time . . . writing! The first three meetings, we talked about writing and the different types of writing and purposes of writing. We read examples of writing to entertain and writing to inform. We also listened to a few songs that were written to educate. We then decided that the best thing for this cluster was for the facilitator to not take up any more valuable writing time. After that, we came in and started writing--and had a great time doing it.
Games! Games! Games!
The students who participated in the “Games! Games! Games!” enrichment cluster had an enjoyable time learning how to play several new games and sharing some of their own games from home with other members of the group. We played dice, word, card, board, strategy, and domino games. The interactions during our cluster time were meaningful, fun, and sometimes quite exciting! Hopefully, the students who participated will have an opportunity to teach and play some of these games with peers and younger students at LME and friends and family at home.
Our enrichment cluster, B2, is a fun hands-on activity time where your creativity guides you to endless possibilities. We make objects out of bottle caps such as coasters, wind chimes, key chains, magnets, necklaces, murals, and various other creations. We use bottle caps, decorations, spray paint, magnets, hot glue, modge podge and more. Our cluster encourages others to be creative and make what they want to make which led us to many different unique results. B2 stand for Bottlecaps 2, which means we used a variety of different bottle caps to create these creations.
Giggles, Games, and Greatness
In “Giggles, Games, and Greatness”, we have participated in numerous challenges. From egg toss, to water relays and mini-shuffleboard to Twister with shaving cream, we have discovered that we all have hidden talents that we didn't know existed. Students decided on a few games to display at the Showcase to help other students find their strengths. Come play with us!!!
The “Photography Fun” Enrichment Cluster learned how to use a digital camera by learning the important parts and functions. We then took portrait pictures of each other to create 'Press Badges'. Each cluster, the students would wear their press badge as we learned another technique using our digital cameras. Here are a few of the techniques we learned: point of view, perspective, rule of thirds, limb chop, and focal point. The cluster created a website to display their photos and a calendar for each of the 14 members of the “Photography Fun” enrichment cluster.
The Future is Coming Soon
In our first meeting of The Future is Coming Soon enrichment cluster, we discussed some of the challenges facing our future population like fewer resources and more people to feed. Members shared ideas of their own and we learned about innovations others have developed to produce food more efficiently. Through this process, the group decided to try growing plants with hydroponic, or soilless, systems. Students learned about system designs and gathered supplies to build them. Problem solving was a big part of our cluster as we experimented with different designs and materials. In the end, we created two hydroponic systems capable of producing eight heads of lettuce at a time. The seeds of innovation were definitely planted in our cluster.
For the past eight weeks, kids in the B.Y.O.Ball enrichment cluster have worked on two things: (a) learning about ways their favorite team, athlete or sport helped support charitable causes or build communities; and, (b) PLAYING SPORTS! While clusters can often be a way for a student to showcase what they already know, this cluster included several students with very little exposure to sports -- an incredibly bold and brave move on their part! Each week, students would spend the first 15-20 minutes of class focusing on the philanthropic/charitable aspect of the cluster before heading outside to participate in sport. The sport chosen changed weekly, with one week being a sport most students had previously played (such as football and soccer) and the following week a sport they likely had not (such as ultimate frisbee!). For the showcase, students decided to create a google classroom to house videos and links featuring their "favorite" doing "good work."
Jr. Wildlife Explorer
The Jr. Wildlife Explorer enrichment cluster spent time together researching animals that they were interested in, going out to the preserve to find signs of wildlife, and watching live animal cams online. Each student then chose a specific animal to research. Many students chose endangered animals, while other chose unusual animals. Finally, they either made a slideshow, a poster, or constructed a habitat. During the last couple of meetings everyone shared what they learned.
Our enrichment cluster started out with having professional movie maker come in and share with us the process of movie making. We learned about using a video to tell a story about the world around us (documentary), as well as the process of creating a movie by developing planning tools such as a story board and script. Then we learned how to use cameras to capture our story. Some students chose to use Legos and stop motion animation to tell their story, and some used other students as actors. Once we had our raw video, students uploaded their shots to Wevideo and editing began. Students worked in collaborative groups to edit their shots, and published their video to a movie gallery.
What a blast we’ve had using our imaginations and skills to create unique works of art from clay. Our creations range from sculpture to potter’s wheel pots to pieces made with clay slabs, coils and pinch pot creations. Many of our pieces have been glazed and fired and are waiting to be seen by others. We have produced over 70 works of art. Not only have we been busy learning how to make different clay products, we have had a lot of fun creating and sharing with each other. We are also sharing with the community by donating several of our bowls to the Empty Bowl Project Auction, which provides financial support to the Round Rock food bank.
Boxes, Boxes, Boxes
We had tons of fun in “Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!” Students started the cluster 8 weeks ago by researching what they could create by reusing cereal and other household boxes. After creating individual lists of projects, each student sketched their product and determined what materials they would need. Each week, our student were measuring and cutting boxes and other materials to specifically fit their project. They learned how to use a variety of crafting materials including hot glue guns, spray paint, mod podge, duct tape and fabric in creative ways. Final products varied from student to student and include desk organizers, notebooks, musical instruments, gift tags, costumes, and airplane models. Our students truly enjoyed creating something from nothing.
Ready, Set, Play!
The first day of our cluster we had an obstacle course set up for students as a means to ignite their creativity in designing their own obstacle course. Students watched some film clips of the popular show "American Ninja" and footage from the Spartan races to get them excited about our mission. The original plan was to have all the students create a comprehensive obstacle course, but after a group vote, half of the students decided to create their own team sport instead.
The obstacle course group designed a new obstacle course each time we met. They were allowed to peruse the equipment room and collaborate as a team to come up with creative, fun new obstacles each week. On the last day of the cluster students picked one of their favorite segments of the obstacle from each of the seven meetings to create one, massively fun finale obstacle course.
The team sport group created a game called Powerball. It is a capture the flag, soccer, and handball hybrid. Each week students worked on perfecting the rules of the game and learning through experience what needed to be altered to make the game run smoothly.