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October Newsletter 2018

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CC A-S.T.E.M. News

Columbia Crest and G.R.I.T.S.

Once a month our Eatonville High School G.R.I.T.S. (Growing Relationships in the Soil) “farmers” and our Columbia Crest A-S.T.E.M. Academy 4th graders come together at the Kjelstad-Burwash Farm to share topics of study with each other.

This hands-on-tools, feet-on-the-ground, project-based learning has been made possible by our District’s acquisition of a spectacular “classroom” (the farm), the creation of the G.R.I.T.S. program, which offers high school students equal time in the classroom and on the farm, and transportation funding provided through our C.T.E. (Career Technical Education) budget. While lessons are founded on grade-appropriate Next Generation Science Standards, far more than science is afoot. Science and local history, collaboration and presentation skills, community building, empathy, and responsibility have all developed as areas of substantial growth for both groups.

This cross-grade experience has unlocked incredible purposeful learning as students work hard to provide high quality projects and experiences for each other. Teachers Alex Van Steen (4th grade) and Tod Morrish (high school) are not surprised in the least that our students, when provided this type of opportunity, are masterfully executing month after month of amazing lessons for each other.

Read More about Columbia Crest and G.R.I.T.S.

Columbia Crest A-S.T.E.M. Academy

Columbia Crest A-S.T.E.M. Academy sits in the foothills of Mount Rainier adjacent to Mt. Rainier National Park headquarters. This location provides immense opportunity to develop hands-on science activities using the surrounding environment.

Easy walking access to such areas as Nisqually River, and forest communities provide natural laboratories to engage students in many potential projects.

S.T.E.M. classrooms integrate curriculum instead of teaching them in isolation.

Students learn in an engaging, problem based environment where collaboration and creativity are encouraged and supported. A S.T.E.M. focused school will teach all subjects, but will approach learning through the lens of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To be a knowledgeable citizen in today's high-paced, technology driven, complex world, all people must be S.T.E.M. literate, regardless of whether they are in S.T.E.M. related professions or not.

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By the Numbers


10 Miles to Mt. Rainier National Park

.25 Miles to Nisqually River

15 MInutewalk to Sahara Creek

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