MVSD EcoVoices’ Saturday Academy

MVSD Students Explore Science During EcoVoices’ Saturday Academy
Science exploration and enrichment was the focus for 75 Mountain View School District students who took part in the EcoVoices Saturday Academy held at Monte Vista School.  Twenty-five students from Monte Vista, Maxson and Payne Schools spent four Saturdays learning about space robotics, biomimicry and biodiversity under the direction of Dr. Richard Shope and EcoVoices staff members.  

     “The goal of the four-day academy is to guide students to explore, discover and understand and then tell the world,” said Roberto Lopez, MVSD’s Director of Student Support Services.  “Dr. Shope and his staff do an excellent job of providing project-based and inquiry-driven adventures for the students.”

     The three modules of the Saturday program included Space Robotics where students learned the basic design and construction principles for robotic rovers that explore planets.  Students used 3-D printers to make key parts to create a planetary environment for maneuvering the rovers.  The Biomimicry module taught students how to read nature for underlying engineering principles.  Referred to as GREENgineering, students learned design by using tools to take things apart and put them back together.  In the Biodiversity module students explored the variety of life in our watershed ecosystem and used microscopes, binoculars and other science instruments to investigate trees, insects, and microbiota.  They also participated in expeditions, mapping and modeling.

       “We greatly appreciate our collaboration with EcoVoices and Dr. Shope which has provided our students with exceptional learning opportunities and educational enrichment,” said Lopez.  “We are happy to provide the Saturday Academy which allows our students to engage in hands-on learning in diverse subject areas which are different from their regular instructional school day.  It’s always great to see students excited about learning, even on a Saturday.”

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