I’m lucky to work for a forward-thinking school district that understands the importance of making sure that our students are future ready. Across all grades and subjects in Fair Haven, you will find amazing teachers doing amazing things with amazing students. We created our Innovation Initiatives because we understand that STEM will play a large part in our students’ futures and we see STEM as another road to instilling a passion for the arts. We want to do our best to expose our students to STEAM careers and opportunities, so they can grow up believing anything is possible. I am proud of the programs I run and I wanted a place on my site where I can showoff the great things we are doing in my district with hopes that it will inspire others to innovate as well. You can check us out at Fair Haven Innovates and read about our Innovation Iinitiatives below:
The Innovation Lab – The Innovation Lab is our 5th and 6th grade STEAM think tank. In the Innovation Lab “We use Design Thinking to make for others.“ The Innovation Lab is a blended-learning shared space where students can choose pre-made projects and design challenges from our four pillars: Computer Science, Engineer, Digital Arts, and Entrepreneurship. If and when students are ready, they can design their own projects and challenges that capture the learning they’re passion about.
FH Gizmos – FH Gizmos was born out of necessity. Some projects in the Innovation Lab were never finished (which isn’t a bad thing) and some finished projects were just forgotten about or discarded. Because we make for others in the Innovation Lab, we had all these finished products that were just laying around. Why couldn’t we sell them? Thus, FH Gizmos was born. FH Gizmos is how we expose students to entrepreneurship at Fair Haven. In our elementary school, FH Gizmos is a third-grade-run pop-up store. In our middle school, FH Gizmos is a student-run, online school startup that functions similar to Amazon. In both markets, students are responsible for every facet of the business: they keep the books, order stock, do the marketing and advertising, handle customer service, look for new revenue streams, and decide how we spend the profit. It provides students with authentic, real-world entrepreneurial experience they won’t get anywhere else.
Innovation Stations – The Innovation Stations are where we show off the digital creations made in the Innovation Lab and our Digital Arts Club. Here you will find our kids’ podcasts, screencasts, graphic designs, movies, songs, music videos, art work, speed paintings, and more! Think of it as our digital arts gallery.
Sickles Studios – Brain child of our awesome Sickles’s principal, Sickles Studios is our elementary school recording studio. In Sickles Studios, students find ways to integrate the arts into the everyday as well as ways to amplify and celebrate the amazing things happening in our district. Students make the decisions, are the talent, run the cameras, and do the video editing.
Twitter Initiative – At Fair Haven, we understand being connected educators empowers us to learn and share at a global level. We encourage all of our teachers to be part of the global, digital movement to revolutionize education. If you are curious what our district is up to, all you have to do is look for #FHLeads.
These Innovation Initiatives are only possible thanks to the vision of our leadership team: Superintendent Sean McNeil, rockstar principals Cheryl Cuddihy and Amy Romano, curriculum-genius Ellen Spears, Kathy Elgrim, Pat Young, and special shout out to Katie Smith and June Sustick whom I’m proud to support. Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re up to or checkout the stream below: