B-P junior high students take part in PLTW-themed summer enrichment program

B-P students in grades 7-9 had the chance to participate in summer enrichment programs at B-P Junior High School this month as an extension of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum taught at BPES. Throughout the week, students designed and built “green” houses, created bridges out of popsicle sticks, mapped out a hypothetical trip to Mars and even dissected a sheep’s brain!

PLTW curriculum is incorporated into each B-P student’s educational career starting in kindergarten, exposing them to concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). PLTW taps into children’s exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, encourages them to keep discovering, become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with each other.

The district utilized federal stimulus money to fund this summer’s enrichment programs and were able to offer the week-long camps — as well as bus transportation — to B-P families at no cost this year. Students were able to choose from the following classes:

Green Architecture

B-P Jr.-Sr. High School graphic arts teacher Crisan Anadio taught students about green architecture, a philosophy that advocates for building with the environment in mind, using sustainable sources of energy, reducing energy use and updating buildings with new technology. Students learned about different architectural styles, were introduced to various software used by architects and the unique handwriting style that architects use on blueprints. They created floor plans, designed and constructed “green” houses out of cardboard and designed a structure on graph paper which was then transformed into a real life model.

a teenage boy measures lines in a drawing directions for an architecture project are written on a large screen 

a teacher with blonde hair and a black shirt shows two female students part of a project in a classroom a female student wearing a black face mask around her neck holds up a house made of cardboard

Engineering Design

B-P’s new technology teacher Nicole Battisti taught a course that helped students explore the engineering design process through a variety of experiments and challenges including an egg drop (create a mechanism to protect an egg from breaking in a vertical fall), cup stacking challenge (stack cups using tools, but not your hands), rocket launch (a paper rocket launched with a straw), popsicle stick bridge contest (which bridge can hold the most weight, using only 200 popsicle sticks and glue), and a paper airplane design contest (which plane can fly the furthest and the straightest).

three boys and a girl work together on a project that requires them to stack blue solo cups two teenage boys work on a project together using popsicle sticks to create a bridge

two boys create a building made of paper a boy drops a contraption made of ballons from the top of a stairwell

  a boy wearing a tye dye shirt blows up a yellow balloon

Flight and Space Summer Camp

Beth Tomlinson, PLTW teacher at BPES taught this aerospace-themed curriculum, which included studying the science of flight, what it takes to travel and live in space, and the role that scientists and engineers play in the field of aeronautical science. Students also worked in teams to design and model different aspects required to complete a hypothetical mission to Mars, including planning the astronaut crew, rocket specifications, daily crew activity schedules, specifications for a landing site, and building a Mars landing vehicle.

a teacher wearing all black points to a diagram on a big screen a boy and girl work together on a project involving a green balloon

a diagram on grid paper shows the science behind airflow a boy on the floor conducts an experiment using a bullseye

paper airplanes are lined up in a row students do an experiment together and watch a bottle closely waiting for a reaction

Medical Detectives

Taught by B-P Junior High School science teacher Natasha Hakim, this class gave students the chance to study different aspects of the brain. They looked at the nervous system and how it interacts with the brain, the anatomy of a human brain and even completed the dissection of a sheep’s brain! Throughout the week, they played “Brain Bingo” and created their own brain hats. Students also learned about medical imaging (MRI’s CT, etc.) from an x-ray technician from St. Mary’s Hospital and worked through a fictitious patient medical file to make a potential diagnosis.

four students pose with "brain hats" made out of paper a teacher and student pose with their arms in the air

the back of a boys head is shown as he wears a hat made of paper students learn about medical imaging

a woman teaches students about xrays a boy and girl wear plastic gloves to dissect something in science class

a teacher helps three boys with a dissection lab a teacher leads a discussion about the cerebellum

two boys work together on a dissection two girls work on a project together