Building an under water robot is very cool. Of course, it takes a lot of time. Building a Sea Perch ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design. In addition, it encourages students to explore naval architecture, as well as marine and ocean engineering principles. It also teaches basic science, engineering concepts, tool safety and technical procedures. Students also learn the important skills of leadership and teamwork.
This year, winter evenings at Grace Academy were filled with busy hands and minds, as five teams of curious youths worked diligently to complete their robots and lab manuals for the Northern New England SeaPerch Competition. (More on the competition results later!)
Midcoast Symphony Orchestra
With snow all around, forty children and their families made the trek to the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham to take in a warm performance of the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. It was a delight to the ears and the soul. There is nothing quite like a live musical performance to stir the soul.
During the intermission, students were invited to “Meet the Instruments”. Orchestra members brought their instruments to the front of the stage one at a time to allow the children to see, feel, and even try playing a violin, cello, trumpet, bassoon, trombone, harp and more. Everyone really enjoyed this learning opportunity.
Naval Engineers from Alion Science in Bath came to talk to us about the SeaPerch program and gauge interest in starting a STEM Program at Grace Academy. STEM Programs focus on creative ways to teach our youth the important skills needed for future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related careers.
The evening was a success, and YES it looks like we will be running our very first STEM program! Now to order the equipment…
Fall is here and with our new building ready to go, we have been creating many new classes for your students to take at Grace Academy. Science has always been a favorite and this year is no different. We are offering two science classes. An Astronomy class for elementary students and a General Science class with lab for middle schoolers. For all levels, we have also included a Nature Study course. Each student received their very own Nature Journal and have already spent many beautiful days outside investigating the hillside. They have explored, documented, and sketched a variety of trees, shrubs, spiders and flowers.
Geography is also filling up fast. This year’s Focus on Geography will be the physical environment of the United States. Students will begin by learning to draw the map of the United States from memory. The students have already begun practicing the outline of the entire country and have worked their way through the New England states. They have even taken to the yard with colored chalk to practice their map drawing skills on the pavement.
Poetry is growing in popularity. This year we are offering two classes. Each class is memorizing the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or Robert Louis Stevenson. Students enjoy doing poetry in the lounge area where they can discuss the poem and listen to one another’s recitations. On very cold days you may even find some students wrapped in blankets on the couch as they work through Longfellow.
We did many projects during the fall, including designing a shaduf while studying Ancient Egypt, building our own solar system in Astronomy, and creating dioramas for Bible History,
Typing, Grammar, and Math require lots of work, but the students and the tutors enjoy seeing the children grow and develop in these areas.
Living out the Liturgical Year is another special feature of Grace Academy.
Here we are learning about All Souls’ Day
We prayed for one another’s friends and loved ones who have passed on while we lit candles and held a small vigil. Yes, you do see a candy bar graph too. Math is in everything we do ♥.
As the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the Mass is where every dimension of Christianity comes together.
We have been so blessed to have an on-site private chapel and
humbled to be served by our friend, Father Dominic Savio.
First Mass of the School Year – October 20, 2016
After Mass we treated Father Dominic and friends to a pot luck luncheon.
It’s All How You Look At It!
Hands-on science projects and experiments are the norm for middle school students at Grace Academy. Science demonstrations and experiments are observed, calculated, and even cooked on a regular basis. Some lessons even require us to eat our science projects. Edible cells anyone? Here is a glimpse of the beginning of the year, as the students discover The Scientific Method and learn how to analyze and interpret data in their experiments on Density, Atomic Motion and Chemical reactions.
Loving Science to the Moon and Back!
Our elementary-level Astronomy class introduces students to the wonders of our solar system, the stars, and beyond. Here is Mrs. Durant’s class making a scale model of our solar system.