three students on schoolwide enrichment dayFrom Bee-Bot robot coding to creating magnetic slime, May 31 was a time for student-led exploration at Fernbrook Elementary’s Schoolwide Enrichment Day.

While Fernbrook has held enrichment days in the past, this spring marked the first opportunity for students to develop and teach lessons to their peers. Bringing this student-led program to the school was an initiative of Kim LeClaire, Fernbrook’s talent development, academic challenge and gifted support specialist.

“I attended a conference last fall and knew I wanted to bring back a schoolwide enrichment model that would involve all students at Fernbrook, not just the ones I work with,” LeClaire said. “[At the conference], a teacher from Texas talked about a student-led enrichment day. Giving students opportunities to develop leadership skills is so important and this event helps achieve that.”

The response to this opportunity was positive, as more than 60 fifth-graders signed up to teach 35 minute STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lessons to all K-5 classes. LeClaire worked with students for several months to identify possible activities that supported the science standards for each grade level. The fifth-graders worked on their lessons throughout the winter and spring, even practicing in front of and gaining feedback from their own classroom teachers.

“Our PTO has been phenomenal in supporting what I do—including this event,” LeClaire added. “This [type of event] gets the kids excited and sends the energy through the roof. It’s been a great experience.”

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PHOTO: Fernbrook Elementary scholars participate in a student-led STEM lesson during the Schoolwide Enrichment Day on May 31.