Our Impact

Lomond LEGO Robotics Takes Off!

The FIRST LEGO League Jr. Robotics Club has launched at Lomond Elementary! The after-school club, supported by the Shaker Schools Foundation and Rockwell Automation, features hands-on STEAM learning using LEGO WeDo Robotics kits. Four teams of six students each will work together on a challenge called Mission: Moon. Teams began by learning about the Moon and exploring what kinds of problems they would need to solve in order to live there like air, water, energy, and exercise. Now, students will design a solution to one or more of these problems using robotics and LEGO elements. The students will show what they learned at an Expo in Shaker in December.
“FIRST LEGO League at Lomond is really taking off!” says Lomond principal Carina Robinson. “The students have been working on collaborative problem solving teams and are learning about and applying the engineering design cycle. It has been great watching them be creative inquirers and I can’t wait for our first Expo!”
Lomond parent Rachel Patel, an engineer at Rockwell Automation, helped bring the program to Lomond. The Foundation is actively seeking additional community volunteers who are affiliated with Rockwell who can assist in expanding the program to other elementary schools. For more information, contact Holly Coughlin, Executive Director of the Shaker Schools Foundation, at coughlin_h@shaker.org.

The Shaker Schools Foundation is committed to providing hands-on learning opportunities for all Shaker students, with a particular emphasis on STEAM initiatives.

Maverick’s Story: Risk-Taking Pays Off with a Win

During my senior year, the chamber orchestra got invited to play in the Orchestra Cup Competition at Lincoln Center in New York. I was amazed that we would be able to play on the same stage as some of the best high school orchestras in the country. The opportunity just really blew me away.

Once again, the Foundation made it possible for me to go on this trip, in addition to my fundraising. On the bus on the way to the competition, I felt compelled to give a speech about giving our all. I wanted to reassure everyone that we belonged on that stage. One thing I took away from the experience is that you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you put the work into it. Now, in college, I know that if I do everything I’m supposed to do, I’ll get the good grades and I’ll achieve my goals.

Everything about this experience involved being a risk-taker, from taking the leap from string orchestra to chamber, to giving a speech on the bus. We all took a big risk in going to the competition – there was no guarantee that we were going to win. Although we had fear, we couldn’t let it get in our way. The Foundation made it possible for me to be on that stage.

– Maverick Wilson, Class of 2017

The Shaker Schools Foundation is proud to support the fine and performing arts in the Shaker schools through a variety of means, including travel scholarships for orchestra, choir and band students each year.

Barbara’s Story: Making Connections and Building Community

“Deciding to enroll in Shaker’s First Class was a big decision for us. Coming from a private school, we weren’t sure if we would get as much communication as we were used to, and it was the first year of a new program.The program has by far exceeded our expectations, in terms of the rich content and the diversity of the class, both of which were very important to us. We’ve gotten to know the other parents at events at school as well as through field trips to the Natural History Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art.

I love the idea of teaching the kids holistically; it’s more about understanding the world around them, not just memorization.The children are more than ready for Kindergarten – they all know their numbers and their letters, and they can handle a daily school schedule. Just as important, we wanted to be sure that Grace was in a place where she learns to be a good person, and I think that’s what IB is all about.

Grace talks a lot about her community and understanding the world around her. She sees a sign with an “H” and knows that’s for a hospital. She recognizes the post office and the library. And they’re also making connections with one another. I loved the unit they did on “how we are alike and how we are different.” At three years old, they don’t really see the differences between boy and girl or the color of their skin. But just as they are starting to notice those things, we are teaching them to be accepting of those differences. Talking about it up front is really huge for me.”

– Barbara Fedor, Shaker parent

Shaker’s First Class is one of many initiatives the Shaker Schools Foundation is proud to support by helping to secure funding from outside partners. Those partners include other Foundations, corporations and private donors.

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