Virtual Learning Academy STEM Day Brings Students Together to Explore

Virtual Learning Academy STEM Day Brings Students Together to Explore

ROME, GA— Behind the brick and mortar of the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA), things were a little louder, a bit busier and absolutely engaging last Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, as the students left their computers at home and gathered together with their teachers for a day of hands-on exploration, learning, and celebration of goals achieved during the school’s STEM Day event.

Principal Dr. Christy Epps was all smiles at every turn. “The day is fantastic,” she said, emphasizing, “Today is a day for our kids to put that computer to the side and be completely hands-on with science and math.” Classrooms were full and teachers seemed fulfilled as they guided students through activities and experiments expanding upon the standards they’ve been studying so far this year.

A myriad of exploratory tasks were happening throughout the day. For example, kindergarten through second grade students got to practice using thermometers to measure temperature of differing containers of water to enrich their understanding of weather, while third and fourth graders measured in liters and milliliters during a friendly competition to find who could squeeze the highest volume of water from a household sponge using their non-dominant hand.

Fifth and sixth grade students in teacher Sarah Blasius’ class learned how to use a triple beam balance as they worked in groups to measure the mass of objects and compared them to their initial predictions. “You’re all scientists today,” applauded Blasius as she moved from table to table to check their progress.

Intermixed into the activities, a celebration of reading goals was also underway as VLA students who had logged 20 or more books got a chance to cash in on their progress. Reading Incentive Coordinator Julie Reid congratulated the readers with celebratory chocolate and a prize of their choosing from a table of goods for their achievement and commitment making reading important. All students enjoyed a chance to shop new literature in a bookstore thoughtfully decorated by Phoenix Learning Center students from English teacher Erin Strickland’s Reading Enrichment class.

A day spent together in the same space, exploring through experience instead of paper, pencil or Chromebooks, and returning home with something new to read adds up to a day well done!

Go Wolves!!!