Four teachers at Baden Academy Charter School have been named 2019 Grow a Generation Distinguished Educators. Each volunteered to work hard in a year-long fellowship project that helped hone their craft of teaching. Each project expanded knowledge of content and pedagogy, exemplified and involved the students in their own learning, empowered students to act in new ways, and sought out other education professionals working on similar problems.
MELANIE HOUSTON, GRADE 5 MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHER
Melanie Houston project inspired fearless scientific explorers with a Space Shuttle Tile. The Houston Solution presented students with problems encountered in the vast expanse of space, the beginnings of knowledge to solve them, and the inspiration from successfully space themed STEM projects.
KENISHA PAGE, GRADE 2 TEACHER
Kenisha Page celebrated Beaver County underground railroad sites and stories which served thousands of escaping slaves. The Beaver County Black History project leads students of Beaver County to discover the rich history of our community’s active fight against racial inequality, particularly our role in the Underground Railroad.
KASSANDRA SMITH, MUSIC TEACHER
Kassandra Smith burst through barricades in her lip sync directorial debut. Her project required her to storyboard, choreograph, develop a shooting schedule for, operate cameras, shoot footage, supervise editorial processes and produce a lip sync video involving every member of the school community. The project’s purpose was to explore how film can add dimension, analyses of expressive, the ability to explain particular elements of music within the song selection, and motivation to improve performance.
CHELSEY REINHEIMER, GRADE 6 ELA
Chelsey Reinheimer taught mindfulness to increase comprehension, creativity, and focus in an English language arts class.
All of these wonderful teachers went above and beyond what was simply required in the classroom, above and beyond honing their craft as teachers. They rose to the heights of demonstrating their love for learning by fearlessly demonstrating to their students their commitment to life long learning, their willingness to risk mistakes, and their high expectations that what is happening is important and it is essential to get it right.
This Fellowship project of our music teacher Mrs. Kassandra Smith of Baden Academy Charter School celebrates the entire school singing the iconic song “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”. Special thanks to Summer Hartman for all the work she did to help edit the video.
This week we celebrate our annual STEM Family night where each of these fellowship groups lead a different activity for area children and adults. If you are in the area on Thursday, May 30, 2019, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Baden Academy, come join us. Check out below some of the projects and their websites and videos!
Students are making the far section of the multi-purpose room a mini-solar system. Meet up with a tour guide at planet Earth as the Sun Superheroes transform you into the Parker Solar Probe as you become the fastest moving human-made object and go to investigate the sun!
Stop along the way for a gravity assist with the planet Venus and learn from our Baden Academy Robotics team (with the help of some of their robots) the difficulties of programming a robot to execute a slingshot-shaped turn.
Return to Earth for your second mission, the long journey to Saturn’s moon Titan. You become the Huygen’s probe and travel aboard the Cassini spacecraft to become the farthest robotic outpost that humanity had ever established around the Sun.
The Aquatic Robotics will greet you before you descend to the methane lakes of Titan to discuss all the precautions of entering an alien atmosphere.
You’ll want to stop by the Nerd Battalion table where our youngest nerds will be demonstrating how they hooked up breadboards to their Piper Kit computers and use minecraft to power an LED! While it is not quite the nuclear fusion that powers our sun, these second graders are beginning to understand light and energy!
You should have worked up an appetite leaving the solar system. Enter the kitchens of our MG (Molecular Gastronomy) kids. The 6th grade boys are whipping up a square watermelon surprise. Our 3rd grade “Flour Girls” are whipping up some Strawberry Foam.
Step into the Breezeway of our Authors Gallery, talk to the latest published research fellows about the incredible scientists they partnered with to complete these incredible tales of discovery. Signed copies of each book is $10 each.
Leaving the breezeway you find an even larger venue with our gymnasium and two classrooms for even more amazing research fellows projects.
Stop by Sophie and Kylie’s Logstown table to pose for a picture and be included in a green-screened group shot in their upcoming book about George Washington’s visit to a local Native American town.
Step into Mrs. Holl’s kindergarten room to join our in-house marketing and entrepreneurship training team – Baden Dreams – for some carnival lessons on marketing and A/B Testing.
In the same room, have fun with the Faces Project game show. See what they’ve learned about human facial expressions and how they are being used in robotics, animations, and facial recognition software.
Our Kids Vs. Addiction team has been hard at work on their third book. They are partnered with addiction specialists from the ASAM and plan to release “What Do You Mean He’s Addicted to Alcohol?” in the fall. Stop by their table near the mats in the gym to try on Fatal Vision Goggles — also called drunk goggles — to learn in a safe way how much alcohol impairs your balance, vision, reaction time and judgment.
Stop into Mrs. Cvitcovish’s room and discover Amaya with her Children’s Heart Surgery project. Control the blood flow in a model of the heart and measure the oxygen being delivered throughout your body with each beat of your heart.
Felicity and Madison will help you make some life preservers and leave you with very concrete ways to work this summer to prevent childhood drowning.
Step back into the gym and meet our Future Engineers leaders as they operate their 3D printers and discuss their recent book, Engineering Wings to the Sun, about 3D printing ceramics. They will be shipping the prothetic hand on display on Friday to be used by
Stop by the table of our Stained Glass Club leaders to learn about how to use a template, cut glass, grind glass, line it with metal, add flux, and solder.
Buoyancy will be explored by our Heroes of Math group. Come learn about Archimedes and try not to get wet!
Our Future City Competition Team needs your input. Where will we get our clean water in 100 years? Can you envision a Beaver County in 2119? What does our river, our creeks, our watershed, and our water supplies look like?
Our Sustainable Water Team continues the question with their model of our local watershed and concerns about sound dangerous poisons we put into the water without knowing it.
Our Take Action club is helping to raise money for Africa through the Talmudine Foundation. Buy a baked good and help build wells in Zambia, Africa where three of the Baden Academy teachers have traveled to volunteer.
Weiland and Sadie are partnered with the Fish and Game Commission and the PA Wildlife Department in creating a new board game (and eventually augmented reality!) about the endangered species of Pennsylvania and the efforts being made to protect them. Help them create pieces for the game.
Our Give a Kid a Compliment team will be on hand to equip you and your kids with stickers to pay compliments to the various fellow’s project.
Our Organized Kids helped create the map and program. They’ll greet you as you come in and help you plan a path to meet all the fellows you are interested in meeting!
I want to say how privileged I feel to work with so many incredible students. Baden Academy has provided us a great space and time allowance to make this growth possible. Thank you!
This is the beautiful video they made about Summer and her project at the Carnegie Science Awards evening
Our own Summer Hartman won one of the most prestigious science awards available, The Carnegie Science Award. This award honors and celebrates the innovators whose outstanding science and technology achievements make western Pennsylvania great and inspire the next generation. Only one student in the Jr. Science Division of the Pittsburgh Science and Engineering Fair can win this award in any given year.
The Description from the Program from the Awards Ceremony:
Concern over a potential new ethane pipeline near her home prompted Summer Hartman, a sixth-grader at Baden Academy Charter School in Beaver County, to investigate the environmental impact of using sodium bentonite clay for pipeline drilling. Her Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair project hypothesized that the clay would cause a significant drop in the mobility and vitality of daphnia magna, a small planktonic crustacean. After testing various amounts of sodium bentonite clay in water containing daphnia magna, she found that more daphnia were nonviable the more the substance was added, leading her to believe that it is dangerous. “Effects of Bentonite Clay on Daphnia” received first place in Junior Division Biological Sciences.
Three sixth grade girls from Baden Academy came across a news alert about a scientist in Israel who was studying bats. That wasn’t so unusual, but then the girls realized the scientist was using the same type of RFID technology to track the bats that Baden Academy uses to help electronically match students to their correct buses. What a coincidence!
The students—Kennedi Emery, Kaitlyn Desrochers, and Brynn Burnsworth—reached out to Dr. Yossi Yovel at Tel Aviv University to find out more, and they eventually turned their fascinating research into a book called Tagging Bats. The girls were excited about every step of the project, from seeing the Hebrew characters in the correspondence from Dr. Yovel, to learning more about Tel Aviv, to understanding how technological advancements can help humans learn more about bats by tracking them.
Kaitlyn and Kennedi had already worked with Penn State’s Biology professor Dr. Miller-Butterworth on a book called Bats in Danger, so they were glad to learn the disease that has been killing so many bats in Pennsylvania wasn’t found in all parts of the world. They also learned how bats were helping scientists at the University learn about how the environment (ecology) affects the brain (neurology). The Yovel Bat Lab website and Dr. Yovel’s staff helped the girls understand the important work the scientists are conducting to better know and protect bats.
Brynn also built on her experiences running Baden Academy’s programming club and making a TED Talk about radio waves. Dr. Yovel and an Israeli technology company had to invent a new type of RFID (radio frequency ID) tag that was light enough and quick enough to record the bats. Dr. Yovel then got a company from Boston to help make a sensor backpack that could record bat voices, map where the bats flew, and measure their heartbeats.
The girls gained so much by trying to figure out each small piece of equipment and what it can teach us about bats and about ourselves. Their biggest hope with the book is to inspire other kids to love technology—and bats! You can get your copy today and enjoy their story of discovery. Profits from the sale of the book go to the Bat Conservation Fund.
Visit the girls’ website at bacswildlife.weebly.com
The girls will be doing several public book signings:
Wednesday, May 22, 4:00 to 6:00 pm: Literary and Visual Arts Festival, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center (1 Lincoln Park, Midland)
Thursday, May 30, 6:00 to 8:00 pm: STEM Family Night, Baden Academy (1016 W. State Street, Baden)
Kennedi, Kaitlyn, and Brynn would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read their book aloud. Please contact Dr. Ellen Cavanaugh at Baden Academy for information.