At its last meeting, the Meriden showcased this year’s Exemplary Achievement Project Award winners. These nine creative and engaging projects had students writing music, cooking with solar energy, video chatting with native Spanish speakers in Spain, and more.
From elementary through high school, the projects involved hundreds of students, sometimes bringing together entire schools. In one endeavor, elementary and high school students even collaborated to create choose-your-own-ending animated stories.
“This has been a banner year for creative projects,” said Lois Lehman, administrator for Curriculum and Adult Education, in introducing this year’s winners. They are:
Panther Soap – Get Your Dirty Paws off Me!
Students in the Platt High School Chemistry Club made their own organic soaps. The soaps proved so popular, the club marketed and sold them as a fundraiser.
Team Courage Cooks: A Solar Experience
Freshmen at Maloney High School built their own solar cookers—and then cooked s’mores on them.
Yale at Hale … Writing and the Arts
Nathan Hale Elementary students in grades 4 and 5 wrote their own original stories, created storyboards and turned them into Claymation videos. These choose-your-own ending animated stories rely on audience participation. At key points in the plot, the viewer gets to choose the course of action. Maloney High School students set the videos to music. Nathan Hale hosted a grand premiere of the videos on Tuesday, May 22.
Summer in the Garden
Students at John Barry Elementary planted a vegetable garden at the school last spring. They went to the school over the summer, spending their mornings weeding and tending the garden, reading books with a garden theme, like The Secret Garden, and taking part in related educational activities. When the vegetables were ripe, the children picked them and cooked them up in healthy recipes.
One School, One Book
Two Meriden elementary schools hosted school-wide book clubs this year. At Nathan Hale Elementary, everyone--including the principal, the secretaries, the school nurse and the custodians--read The Cricket in Times Square. At Roger Sherman Elementary, the entire school read Winn Dixie. Students took part in all kinds of fun activities related to the books, including answering daily trivia questions for a chance to win a free book and author visits.
Roller Coaster Odyssey
For this district-wide enrichment project, fifth graders from all over Meriden met on Saturdays for five weeks to learn about force and motion and design their own roller coasters.
Honorable mention recipients:
Living Global Studies Through Skype
At Washington Middle School, students in grades 7 and 8 conversed in Spanish with native Spanish speakers in Spain via Skype, an online video chat service.
Tolerance – Learning Through Diversity
Special education students at Maloney High School discussed examples of prejudice and created a pyramid of tolerance.
“Your extra efforts make learning fun for all our students,” said School Superintendent Dr. Mark Benigni in thanking the teachers who organized and mentored students through these activities.