Chestnut Grove Elementary’s “The Launch Pad” will give students a new creative experience – WZDX

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DECATUR, Ala. — Today staff and students at Chestnut Grove Elementary, along with Ed Farm Spaces, hosted a ribbon cutting for “The Launch Pad”, a new STEAM lab that will give students a chance to learn and produce work within the stem field. Daniel Whitt, Learning Innovation Director for Ed Farms says although they have created many spaces, this one is one of a kind.
“My organization and Decatur City Schools partnered up to transform this library into a high tech, future focused media center,” Whitt stated.” So, we gutted it, put in all new floors, all new paint, but then we focused on teaching and learning and high tech, future focused technology. So, we’re trying to prepare them for the jobs of the future.
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Ed Farm Spaces is an initiative created by Ed Farm focused on building active, transformative, and future-focused learning environments for students and teachers to help prepare them for the innovation economy. With an emphasis on technology-infused learning and themes of coding, creating, building community, and cultivating change, these classrooms create limitless future-focused opportunities for Alabama schools
Students will be able to produce podcasts, learn and work with coding, and even operate a 3d printer. Whitt says learning these skills early are vital.” I grew up in the eighties and nineties. Every school in America looked the same, felt the same, taught the same stuff, but since that time, the world is changing like crazy. What we’ve learned is, if we don’t catch these kids early, early, put the right technology and the right instruction in their hands from an early age, we’re doing them a major disservice.”
The space officially opens today, but according to Whitt the kids are already obsessed with all they’re able to do and that joy is what makes it worth it.
“The students, every time they come in here, whether it’s a little kindergartner or the biggest fifth grader in the school,” Whitt stated. Every time they come in here, they’ve got a smile on their face. They got high energy, even if they didn’t get a good breakfast and they want to get their hands on this technology and get to work and that type of engagement is really hard to create in schools today. So, Ed Farm and Decatur City Schools, though, partnering up. I think we’re going to be able to create this every single day at Chestnut Grove.
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