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Article: Building community partnerships to benefit students

Building community partnerships to benefit students

The four winners with their prizes

The four classrooms of second-graders at Churchville Elementary were laser-focused on building something unique. Each student used a bag of colorful building blocks, a small rock, a string and a piece of aluminum foil. What took shape from all these young imaginations were fanciful creations related to construction, including wrecking balls and cranes, corporate building signage, boats, warehouses or high rise apartments.
 
“Our school has become very involved in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) and innovative makerspace activities,” said teacher Jennifer Brush. “Projects like this empower students to take charge, think outside the box, develop a plan and work towards a goal. Our second-grade teachers collaborate regularly. We love the chance to bring in great community resources that can help us expand learning opportunities for our students.”

In this case, a connection was made with the Rochester chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC 314), whose members include architects, lawyers, tradespeople and contractors. They invited CES to participate in NAWIC’s national Block Kids building competition. Students had 45 minutes to design and build. NAWIC volunteers, including President Melissa Wentland, Secretary Kayla Pliszka, Board Member Jenna Stundtner and others, then spoke to builder about their construction concept. Judges determined one winner from each class and a school champion who will go on to the regional Block Kids competition. Congratulations to Emery, Lexi, Julianna and George, who will represent CES at the next level.

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