Center for Innovation - Funded Projects 2012-13

  • Fall 2012 Projects

    Transforming Physical Education: An Interdisciplinary Approach – High School
    Kevin Blake (Physical Education), George Blessing (District coordinator, Health and Physical Education), Jodi Giroux (Technology), Devin Hoover (Physical Education), Bob Siracuse (Director of Athletics), Jeremy Szerlip (Science), Stacey Suffridge Wierl (Physical Education)

    The goal of this project is to reimagine and redesign the teaching and learning of physical education in the High School, by developing an interdisciplinary curriculum that unites physical education, health education, science and technology. The team will examine how current trends in health, wellness, physical activity, nutrition, and exercise science can be integrated into the course of study. This project will also consider the development of a Center for Wellness and Exercise Science. The team will research facility design and equipment to create a state-of-the-art fitness center for students, staff, and community members. The proposed Center would also feature an exercise science laboratory, which would support development of curriculum in biokinetics, exercise physiology, and health science.

    Creating Prototype MakerSpace to Promote STEM Opportunities for Elementary Students – Fox Meadow
    Dan Brodsky (Third Grade), Sara Faranda (Art), Alethea Lynch (Third Grade), Peter McKenna (Technology), David Scholl (Learning Resource Center), Jan Schorr (Librarian) Duncan Wilson (Principal)

    Once, households across the nation had basements and garages where parents and children created, tinkered, and worked with tools and materials. Students need more time – and space – to solve real-life engineering tasks. The new and growing Maker movement aims to reinvent American ingenuity and manufacturing on a small, personal scale, encouraging experiential learning, collaboration, creativity, and authentic critical thinking. This team will develop a prototype Media lab/Maker space that will give elementary students the opportunity to engage in real engineering and design work, and promote experiential learning in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering- Math). The lab will have a variety of computers, creative software, building and circuit kits, models, robotics kits and materials, 3D printers, and other emerging technology.

    Imagining and Designing Flexible Learning Spaces for the School of the Future – High School
    Maggie Favretti (Social Studies), and Lisa Yokana (Art)

    This team will explore innovation education programs and the space designs that support them by first researching, then visiting other schools and interviewing program organizers and participants. Working with architects, administration, faculty, students, alumni and parents, the team will develop a vision statement and proposal about innovation education here at SHS. What are the skills all innovators use? How can we best develop the kind of integrated thinking and internal motivation that innovation rests on? How can the design of innovation spaces influence the students and teachers who will use them? How will they help facilitate desired outcomes? How can the development of both programming and space augment our existing program and facilitate SET?

    Integrating Service Learning into the Curriculum – Middle School

    Team 1: Mission, curriculum and community connections

    Team 2: School calendar and master schedule

    TEAM 1: Sima Cass (House Counselor), Jeanne-Marie Castiello (Social Studies), Nancy Collins (Social Studies), Denise DelBalzo (English), Carra Forray (Health), Steve Goodman (Social Studies), Cara Hiller (English), Kerry Kraft (Social Studies), Meghan Lahey (Social Studies), Nick Lieto (Music), Will Maldorelli (English), Deena Paradiso (House Counselor),  Ken Raff (Science), Marci Rothman (Social Studies), Jessica Slotwinski (Music), Jane Strobel (Learning Resource Center), Meghan Troy (Social Studies), Sharon Waskow (Librarian), Sarah Whittington (World Language Dept. Chair), Emma Wixted (Social Studies).

    TEAM 2: Larry Chatzinoff (Assistant Principal), Michael McDermott (Principal), Deena Paradiso  (House Counselor).

    Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction and reflection. Through service-learning, young people use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. Service-learning at the Middle School helps students see themselves as members of an interdependent society able to impact change on a local and global level. The goal of both teams is to move Service-Learning from discussion into practice. The second team in particular will rethink how time and schedules can be designed to support service-learning opportunities throughout the Middle School, with particular attention to the school calendar and master schedule.

    Increasing Global Awareness through Experiential Learning – High School
    Kenneth Bonamo (Principal), Kendra Claussen (Social Studies), Sylvie Corten (World Language Dept. Chair), Eve Eisenstadt (Art Dept. Chair and K-12 Art Coordinator), Laura Estersohn (Math), Gwen Johnson (Social Studies), Nicola Minchillo (Social Studies), Ann Marie Nee (Social Studies), Sue Peppers (Assistant Principal), Beth Schoenbrun (Science), Maria Valentin (Social Studies)

    The goal of this team is to develop a common experience for all High School students in experiential/service learning. Under the aegis of the Interdependence Institute, the team will develop a program that would aim to increase awareness of significant world problems, some of which are locally embedded. The program could also be part of a new model for an inter-term experience (or set of experiences) for all students each year. This proposal would build on connections already established with Ghana (Adakum Foundation & New Seed International), Southeast Asia (East-West Center), China (visiting teachers), Haiti and Tanzania (Afya Foundation), the World Language trips and emerging opportunities in Latin America. The program would include a pre-service academic component to provide context and background for the experience, as well as a post-service component that would include reflection, writing, discussion and analysis of the students’ experiences.

    January 2013 Projects

    Promoting Reggio Approaches in the Scarsdale Classroom – Edgewood and Heathcote
    Ellen Fiorella (E speech), Lisa Forte (E music), Lindsey Hicks (H LRC), Erik Holvig (H computer), Michelle Inello (E first grade), Kathy Leary (H kindergarten), Lorella Lamonaca (E first grade), Nancy O’Rourke (E first grade), Maria Stile (H Principal), Kimberly Theall (E kindergarten), Paul Tomizawa (E computer), and Alice Yugovich (H art)

    Howard Gardner and Tony Wagner refer to the Reggio Emilia approach to education as a ‘brilliant example’ of innovative and ethical pedagogy. What structures did that community’s parents and educators put into place to create their innovative and ethical schools? Can these structures enhance children’s learning and inspire innovation in 21st century Scarsdale? How can “digital documentation” help to assess children’s work in the primary grades? The team will study and create Reggio-inspired projects in Scarsdale classrooms and analyze the current components of the learning culture, including classroom environments, opportunities for collaboration and choice, and teacher, student, and parent roles and relationships in the learning process. Their goal is to identify elements of the Reggio approach that can be embedded into Scarsdale’s primary classrooms and demonstrate innovative approaches to documenting student work.

    Transforming Student Engagement Through Educational Gaming and Play – Middle School
    Jeanne-Marie Castiello ( social studies), Denise Del Balzo ( English), Cara Hiller (English), Melanie Millard (world language), Janet Milliken (social studies), Michael Pincus (technology), (Meghan Troy (department chair, social studies), and Sharon Waskow (librarian)

    The New Media Consortium’s 2012 Horizon Report has identified Game-Based Learning as an emerging trend for schools. Research shows that play activates the tenacity and persistence required for effective learning. Games give players permission to take risks that would not be considered in a traditional academic setting, and inspire students to create, share, mix, modify, curate, critique, and comment on content to which they might otherwise be indifferent. The team will investigate how technology-based and traditional games and simulations can increase and improve student engagement in learning: they will look for models of how this approach has been implemented elsewhere and talk to educational gaming experts. They will also explore the uses of commercially produced games, as well as games created by teachers and students; and consider how various approached suit the developmental differences of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

    Teacher Innovation Network/Collaborative Innovative Classrooms – Elementary
    John Calvert (Q technology), Shoshana Cooper (G fourth grade), Susan Luft (F first grade), Carole Phillips (G librarian), Paul Tomizawa (E technology), and William Yang (G technology)

    The current national emphasis on teacher accountability and high-stakes testing has led to a narrowing of skills within a limited number of subjects, promoting a more rigid, standardized curriculum. These influences have affected teachers at the elementary level as they find fewer opportunities to take risks and be creative with new ideas in teaching. The purpose of this project is to counteract those influences by finding ways to deliberately inspire creativity and innovation. The team will work to establish a Teacher Innovation Network, which will support the study of inquiry-based innovative practices through online professional learning communities, and the development of Collaborative Innovative Classrooms - classrooms or learning spaces in the elementary schools devoted to research, experimentation and the transformation of instruction to further student learning.