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Cotter Schools Transforms Learning Experience with Innovative Ukulele Project

Cotter Schools Transforms Learning Experience with Innovative Ukulele Project

Cotter Schools is proud to announce the successful implementation of an innovative learning project that seamlessly integrates art, music, and science into the classroom. The Ukulele project, part of a comprehensive kit provided by STEM 101, has supported a new way for students to engage with STEM at Cotter Schools.

STEM 101, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting STEM literacy, partnered with Ashley Furniture to provide kits for educators to enhance hands-on learning experiences. Through this partnership, Cotter Schools received these kits, which have provided an exciting, interdisciplinary project.

The Ukulele project exemplifies Cotter Schools' commitment to fostering holistic learning experiences. This initiative was introduced alongside the adoption of the Inspire Science curriculum, utilizing a 5E Instructional Model aimed at stimulating student curiosity and encouraging creative problem-solving skills. By integrating art, music, and science, Cotter Schools aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of how these disciplines intersect in real-world contexts.

In the 2023-2024 school year, Cotter Schools appointed a dedicated science specialist, Mr. Eric Paulsen, to collaborate with elementary classroom teachers in designing new science lessons and facilitating engaging science-based activities. This approach not only enhances classroom learning but also provides students with exciting opportunities for exploration and discovery outside of traditional instructional settings. “This 6th grade ukulele project highlights the importance of the 'A' in TEAMS (Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Science), and the amazing results possible when we integrate these subjects. Thanks to STEM, we know these ukes will play, but the fact that they are so beautiful and meaningful to the kids is all due to the ARTS and Jody Berhow. I think the students will remember this project their whole lives and I hope it helps them to recognize how we have such a lovely world thanks to the arts and art education,” said Paulsen.

Looking ahead, Cotter Schools is actively developing new engineering and STEM programming for middle and high school students. These initiatives will encompass disciplines such as mechatronics, industrial arts, and computer science, preparing students for success in future engineering and science endeavors. Projects like the Ukulele initiative and after-school robotics activities serve as foundational experiences, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in these fields.

Cotter Art Teacher, Jody Berhow said, “Eric and I both agreed that combining Art in TEAMS learning succeeds by making connections that are already known to each subject. Skill, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and logic are just a few. Three-dimensional design-building rose to the next level by naturally speaking about music, the art of painting wood, fabrication, manufacturing, and sound waves. Our work with the students highlighted how making connections in education of any type gives memories meaning, is always done creatively, and makes sense too! I am very pleased with the outcome of the ukuleles, the time and conversations I have had getting to know more about TEAMS learning, and how great Science guys, like Eric Paulsen, easily make Science fun and awesome!"

Cotter Schools remains committed to providing students with enriching educational opportunities that inspire creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong learning.

Cotter Schools Transforms Learning Experience with Innovative Ukulele Project
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