This spring the York House SK Apple class engaged in a project on Animal Prosthetics. The students had been very interested in how animals help people and how people help animals. They had a veterinarian clinic play centre set up in the classroom and would often read books about animals. To extend on this interest, students were shown a video from Engineering is Everywhere about animal prosthetics. Right away the students were engaged as they were given the challenge to help a hurt frog by designing a frog leg.
For their larger project, students were divided into groups to design a prosthetic for a specific animal such as a horse, dolphin, or eagle. Students used the Design Thinking Framework to help empathize and understand what their animal needed their prosthetic to help them do. They read stories about their animal, watched videos, and even pretended to move like the animal.
Students brainstormed or ideated multiple ways to make their prosthetic and then experimented with materials. To test their designs, students had to think about its comfort, durability, attachment, and function. After testing, groups modified and improved on their prosthetics. It was wonderful to see how students persevered when they encouraged design flaws and continued to modify their designs until they were satisfied with how it worked.
This project was a collaboration between SK teachers, Kimberly Ryerson and Alison Matthews, and STEAM Coordinator Jennifer Sharpe.
We are pleased to introduce our new Employee Spotlight section where you have an opportunity to read from some of York House School’s newest additions.
Meet Lisa Rosenberg, Senior Kindergarten Teacher, Little School
What has impressed you most about the students at York House School?
Everyone in the York House community has been so welcoming! In my short time at York House I have already seen the girls embody the York House Values in their treatment of others, their willingness to try new things, and their respect for the school.
What inspires you most about the subject that you teach?
I love the passion for learning and sense of curiosity that kindergarten children bring to the classroom. Kindergarten is also a year of significant mental and emotional growth for students. It’s so fun to look back and say, “at the beginning of the year you were learning to write your name, and now you can write stories!” They are so proud, and they should be. It’s amazing!
What are you most looking forward to at York House in the coming months?
I’m looking forward to hearing the Little School girls sing in our holiday performance. I am also looking forward to getting involved in the York House community beyond the Little School as well through extra-curricular activities.
What is something that people might not know about you that you would like to share?
I taught dance for many years – working with the youngest students inspired my passion for early learning. That’s why I teach Kindergarten! I recently took up tap dancing again- It’s definitely not easy for me, but I’m doing my best!
What is your favourite book of all time and why?
Anything by Mo Willems, Jon Klassen, Melanie Watt, Oliver Jeffers. I love books that make us laugh and I really love books that make us wonder.
For older readers: One of my many favourites is A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Her voice is uniquely her own – she doesn’t remind me of anyone else. This particular story lives in the interstitial space between Victoria and Japan, past and present, reality and imagination. It is part-memoir, part-fiction, with a sprinkle of magical realism. It is completely captivating.