Friday, June 15, 2018

Pasco students bring compassion to community problems

LAND O’ LAKES — Six-year-old Allison Prianos rolled her way onto the stage in a shiny red wheelchair, curls spilling down her neck. She paused for a moment in front of a large screen. Then she stood up, signaling the start her very first "Design Talk" at Sanders Memorial Elementary School.

It was dress rehearsal — a time to get the feel of the stage and the sound of her own voice over a microphone, as well as helpful hints and encouragement. That evening, the cafetorium would be filled with friends, family and faculty.

The school’s Design on Display program, held before spring break, was meant to highlight student design projects, as well as student artwork and performances by student musicians. Sanders is a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) magnet school.

Inspired by the nationally popular TED Talks (technology, entertainment and design) the student Design Talks were part of the mix.

Allison doesn’t have a physical disability, but she and her first-grade classmates know kids and adults who do. They were inspired, Allison said, by players on a wheelchair basketball team who gave a presentation at her school.

That’s why they voted to take on a design project called "Play Has No Limits."

It began with a challenge to use a design process, as well as compassion, to address a problem in their community. It culminated with first-graders creating and developing games for children with disabilities.

The step-by-step process required students to: "formulate," by asking what the problem is and how they can help; "explore," by doing research; "ideate," or brainstorm ideas; "sift," or weed through those ideas — even the silly ones — to see what works best; "simulate," or put the idea into action; and "advocate," or share their solution.

Other projects included: a peer-reading program; an outreach program to help the elderly battle depression; a before- and after-school chess club to promote problem solving skills and enhance academics; a Special Olympics Village featuring STEAM activities designed by students; and a magnetic surfboard that will deflect hungry sharks and attach to the roof of a car after the ride.

Mikayla Thirkill designed the magnetic surfboard and used a three-dimensional printer to create a miniature prototype. She is exploring the patent process for it with her teacher. She said she found inspiration in watching a TED Talk by William Kamkwamba, author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

"He talked like he was just talking to his family — I was going for that," Mikayla said.

Marielle Thomas, 9, collaborated with fellow third-graders for the outreach project, "The Kids and the Elderly." Her first practice Design Talk was for residents of Angels Senior Living at Connerton Court, whom the students had engaged by making cards and writing poems.

"It was really nice — I saw them smiling back at me," Marielle said.

Perhaps the students already are changing the world a bit, said principal Jason Petry.

"They really take this seriously. They are helping out the community and realizing that your passion could be someone else’s compassion," Petry said. His school’s five "C’s" philosophy toward successful academics includes communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and compassion.

"Whether they are above-average, average and even below-level students doing this," Petry said. "You just give the kids the opportunity and just watch them go."

Contact Michele Miller at [email protected] Follow @MicheleMiller52

RELATED: School search: Pasco school choices include magnets rigorous academic programs career academies

RELATED: Pasco schools find success letting students make more choices

RELATED: Pasco students create art to shed light on mental health

Comments

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., June 17, midday:xx xxx xxxxe_SRitxxxxxSun., June 17, evening:xx xxx xxxxe_SRitxxxxxFantasy 5Sunday...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

NEW YORK — Just when it seemed like SS Adeiny Hechavarria might not play another game for the Rays, he will rejoin them on Sunday.The Rays announced after Saturday's 4-1 loss that INF Christian Arroyo was placed on the DL due to an oblique stra...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT

AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Johnson in 4-way tie after day of survival at US Open

Johnson in 4-way tie after day of survival at US Open

Survival at Shinnecock: Johnson, Koepka part of 4-way tie in toughest US Open in 44 years
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

RHP Ryne Stanek did his job as the opener just fine in getting four outs on Saturday, but for the Rays' unorthodox pitching plan to work it takes a team effort. And LHP Ryan Yarbrough's inability to throw strikes quickly put them in a hole.The experi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
AP FACT CHECK: Trump on FBI, phantom law on migrant kids

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on FBI, phantom law on migrant kids

AP FACT CHECK: Trump assails Democrats for a law on immigrant children that doesn't exist and claims vindication in a Justice Department report that actually offers him none
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 8:55 p.m. EDT

AP Top News at 8:55 p.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Carrasco hit on right arm by liner, Twins beat Indians 9-3

Carrasco hit on right arm by liner, Twins beat Indians 9-3

Indians pitcher Carrasco hit by line drive; Twins ride Rosario's big day to 9-3 victory
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round

The Latest: USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round

The Latest: USGA apologizes for unfairness of Shinnecock Hills in 3rd round of US Open
Updated: 2 hours ago

FL Lottery

FL Lottery
Updated: 2 hours ago