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Bronxville Union Free School District

Innovation Expo Celebrates Students’ Creativity and Engaged Citizenship

Students and families gathered at the Bronxville School on May 16 for the third annual Spring Innovation Expo, which allowed them to experience great examples of creativity, innovation and engaged citizenship, as well as actively participate in a variety of workshops.

“This workshop approach reinforced our belief that learning is an ongoing process of application and reflection, not just mastery of content,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Quattrone said. “This year’s activities emphasized the voice of students and the many ways they gain deep understanding of issues important to all of us, encompassing the arts, history, science and technology.”

The family-school partnership event featured a K-12 art show, exhibits and a number of educational and engaging workshops. The evening began with a keynote address on engaged citizenship by high school social studies teacher Christina Reidel and her students, who presented the results of their research on topics of concern to the local and global community. Throughout the evening, New York State Sen. George Latimer met with students to discuss strategies for effecting productive change.

In other workshops, students and parents tested their creativity, perseverance, design and engineering skills by addressing challenges to build a structure with one cube as the base and to build the tallest possible structure out of cups, craft sticks and cubes. The evening also included a “Shark Tank” workshop, which allowed high school physics students to present their inventions and answer questions from a panel of judges. Some of the projects included a motion-controlled RoboArm, a lunchbox computer, Magneto shoes and a Toilluminate.

Other students presented independent projects, including multiple documentary films, a three-year investigation on the water quality of the Bronx River and a discussion on what goes into the extensive historical research process that supports National History Day. Students and parents also learned different mindfulness strategies, including mindful listening and breathing, walking and meditation.

“The Innovation Expo was really important for our school because it allowed us to use creativity and innovation to create new things,” said eighth-grader Esther Thomet, who presented a project on compound machines that completed an everyday task in an innovative way. She and her group had created Cermilka, which featured several simple machines, including an inclined plane, pulley, lever, wheel and axle, to pour milk and cereal into a bowl.

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