Lynbrook Flight School has Launched

Students Working together to Brainstorm Ideas thumbnail208373
Students worked together in groups to engineer solutions thumbnail208374
Students Working together using blocks thumbnail208375
Students as partners designing a path for their robot thumbnail208376
Students built their own windmill thumbnail208377
Since September, students in third, fourth and fifth grades in the Lynbrook Public School District have been embarking on a project-based learning adventure through the new Flight School.

Each class in the district is visited by one of the two Flight School instructors, Corinne Teichman and Heather Cocozza, and students participate in a two-day immersive learning experience. Through multiple modules provided throughout the school year, the students are given the opportunity to engineer solutions to problems while learning about issues affecting the world today. The lessons are associated with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and helps students understand how humans impact the environment. They learned about their role and responsibilities as a citizen when it comes to consumption and disposal of plastics, how pollution is caused by the use of fossil fuels and about renewable energy resources. Additionally, students learned about how our environment is changing because of invasive species.

The fifth grade Flight School students were first to take flight. Students took on the issues of pollution with a focus on landfills. Students learned the pros and cons of garbage disposal and even created a model landfill that was constructed to protect the environment from potential pollutants such as leachate.

Fourth grade classes explored renewable energy by researching the mechanical power of wind. Inspired by the story of 14-year-old William Kamkwamba in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” the students built their own windmills that would harness the mechanical energy produced by wind to lift a load. Students worked in partnerships using the engineer design process to create and develop the best shaped blades for their windmill to be the most successful.

Third grade took part in a study of invasive species. They first researched a particular frog and made note of how its structural and behavioral adaptations help it to survive. The students were then placed in the challenging situation of facing a new invasive species that began to take over the frog’s natural habitat. Students were challenged to brainstorm the new behavioral and physical adaptations their frogs must develop to stand

a chance of surviving against this new invasive species. Through the engineer design process, pairs of students brainstormed and built a new and improved version of their previous frogs to help them stand a fighting chance at survival.

Flight School helps students to feel empowered. When asked what they learned following their Flight School experience, two of Kathleen Sieling's fifth grade students shared the following: “It’s awesome,” said Marcello Malcangi. “It is so much fun. I learned to be more creative and communicative with my classmates.”

“I think that it’s very inclusive and has a lot of fun activities,” said Leo Krokoff. “It has more interactive activities than the typical classroom.”