The boys in 2P were excited to have the chance to showcase for parents all the hard work they’d put into their immigration STEAM project over the past few months.
In Second Grade, the boys study immigration throughout the year and talk about the causes and effects, as well as the process of immigration. The presentation on March 2 was the culmination of a project that had the boys design a welcome center to receive immigrants as they arrive at JFK airport. This 10-week long project began with the boys brainstorming ideas for the welcome center, before working in groups using the Education Design Process to design their particular space in the airport.
Throughout the STEAM project, the boys learned to be respectful of each other, listening and learning from all the ideas presented. Agreeing on the final design and construction of their models had to be a team decision-making process.
For the showcase itself the boys worked with Technical Director Stacy Donovan and Second Grade Teacher Lori Popkowski to choose their roles, which included, graphic designers, architects, construction foremen, and two narrators. The graphic designers were responsible for explaining the computer renderings or blue prints of their plan, while the architects had to describe the overall design and use of the space before the construction began. The construction foreman talked about the challenges of working with specific materials and the need to adapt along the way.
To compile the script, Ms. Popkowski sat down with each group of boys having them explain in their own words what they had experienced during that particular phase of the project. As the boys talked, she wrote. This became the script for the showcase…their words.
Since the showcase is designed as an opportunity for the boys to work on their public speaking skills, each boy had his own lines to read to the audience, which they took very seriously. Props and costumes were kept simple. Construction workers wore hard hats, architects held architectural scale rulers and graphic designers had iPads.
Lori Popkowski said, "Because the boys did all of the work in putting together this showcase, they were hugely invested. They were excited to have written the script themselves and to have the chance to get to share their own words and hard work with their parents. What a great job they did!"