Editor's note: The following is a press release provided by the Meadowbrook School.
Students at The Meadowbrook School of Weston are celebrating after learning their entry into the LEGO® Smart Creativity Contest was selected as the Grand Prize winner. The contest, hosted by LEGO Education North America, was designed for educators to showcase their creativity by demonstrating in an original video how they used LEGO Education products in their classrooms to spark student innovation.
More than 2,500 educators registered for the contest and winners were selected in Lower Elementary (K-2), Upper Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), and Homeschool segments, and Meadowbrook was chosen from all submitted entries. As the recipient of the Grand Prize, Meadowbrook will be awarded $5,000 in LEGO Robotics materials.
Three Meadowbrook teachers -- Dotty Corbiere, robotics and math, Linda Rapciak, music, and Matt Molyneux, technology – collaborated with students to create their award-winning video entry in the LEGO Smart Creativity Contest.
Meadowbrook’s entry was based on the “Green City Challenge”: to make an environmentally friendly LEGO city by programming LEGO NXT robots to perform tasks, like collecting trash and creating solar panels. Ms. Corbiere, Meadowbrook’s resident LEGO expert, led the building project, and the students sang a song entitled “Green City Ragtime Band,” with original lyrics by Ms. Rapciak. Two Middle School students in Meadowbrook’s film-making class shot the footage, and Mr. Molyneux edited the video for submission in the contest. LEGO Green City is an ongoing project at Meadowbrook that spans the entire school community and a unique robotics elective, whereby students spend a year building a “green city” and programming the robots to complete different tasks.
“This was an amazing project for Meadowbrook, and we are ecstatic to have won,” said Ms. Corbiere. “Children from kindergarten and grades 3, 4 and 5 all worked together to complete the Green City Challenge. So many skills were involved -- creativity, math, technology, teamwork – and we set very high expectations. Our students clearly rose to the challenge.” For Meadowbrook faculty, the LEGO Smart Creativity Contest was a special opportunity to collaborate across academics and the arts. “As educators, we are always looking for ways to work together,” said Ms. Rapciak. “The Green City Challenge combined our robotics, music and film-making programs in a meaningful way.”
As part of the prize package, Ms. Corbiere and a guest were invited to attend the LEGO Education STEM Summit held in St. Louis today, where LEGO will present Meadowbrook with $5,000 in LEGO products. The prize will further enhance the school’s robust K-8 robotics/engineering program.
“We are so very proud of our teachers and students for claiming the Grand Prize,” remarked Headmaster Stephen T. Hinds. “When we talk about 21st century skills, this is exactly what we mean. Innovation, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving – we emphasize these skills at Meadowbrook, and the contest showcases to the world the kinds of gifts we see every day in our students. Winning the LEGO Green City Challenge is surely the beginning of these students’ many accomplishments to come, and congratulations to Ms. Corbiere, Ms. Rapciak and Mr. Molyneux for spearheading this wonderful project.”
To see Meadowbrook’s award-winning video, “Green City Ragtime Band,” visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/TheMeadowbrookSchool or website www.meadowbrook-ma.org. The entire “LEGO Green City” will be on display at Meadowbrook for Earth Day 2012.