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Where: Linwood Public Schools, Linwood, New Jersey
Initiative: Supporting social-emotional learning with STEM
The Linwood Public Schools in Linwood, New Jersey is integrating the concepts of social-emotional learning (SEL) to sour innovation and creativity throughout their curriculum. The emphasis on kindness and empathy are a central part of the program. As research and experience have found, practicing empathy breeds innovation. For Linwood, this has become an integral part of the day to day happenings in the district.
A great example of this empathy in action is seen at the district’s Belhaven Middle School. Four students from the school have been selected by the New Jersey School Boards Association and the U.S. Army to compete in the 2020 STEAM Tank Challenge (opens in new tab). The team will compete on March 27 in the South Regional Competition in Blackwood, New Jersey.
The students originally auditioned by submitting their idea “pitch” in video format. Their pitch, which was 100% student formulated and carried through, was for a smart device application that taught younger children how to perform hands-on CPR. They call the app, “CCPR,” adding the extra “C” in front because of the target audience. Through their research, they found children, elementary through middle school age, don’t know how to respond in an emergency situation and preventable deaths which could be avoided. The app’s interface takes a gamified approach, making this critical and educational product fun and entertaining for its audience. Through the use of Scratch coding and the Makey Makey invention kit, these students are creating this very marketable application to be presented at the regional competition in March.
Through documentation of their design process and confidence in their product, the students are ready to take on the challenge!
Frank Pileiro is Supervisor of Technology for Linwood Public Schools.
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