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Innovation is alive at Bromwell: Spotlight on STEM

Students working on STEM project Trash is becoming treasure at Bromwell. Bags filled with recyclable goods have made their way into Ms. Takano’s technology classroom, and you’ve never seen toilet paper rolls and plastic straws looks so cool, or ignite so many brain cells! New this year, in an effort to boost the school’s creative and innovative curriculum, Bromwell launched a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Lab. Once a week, each grade uses a portion of their “Tech” class to engineer, explore, and imagine. Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades have been learning about the design process and how essential it is to solving real-world problems. They have also been participating in group design challenges that have teams brainstorming, designing, building, and testing. “I knew the challenges would push the children intellectually, but the most rewarding outcome so far is watching their emotional and social growth,” said Takano. “Collaboration is a critical success factor and it takes practice. Learning to listen and plan collaboratively are skills that will last our students a lifetime,” she added. With the younger grades, the STEM Lab has begun by teaching that scientists are more than just people in white lab coats who make potions! Through the incorporation of the scientific method, students are being encouraged to ask questions and observe and wonder about the world around them. They are discovering that they are super scientists, too! Thank you to all the families who have been sending in their recyclables. Want to see your cereal boxes take on a new life? Here’s a complete STEM Lab donation list.
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Meet Puppy and Snail!

Kids in classroomFirst grade has adopted a few pets. Their names are Puppy and Snail! A dog and a bug may seem like an unlikely duo, but that’s the whole point.

Puppy and Snail are actually puppets and they are part of a new curriculum Bromwell is piloting to help students explore their own unique differences and how to get along.

It can be a forgotten party of elementary education: social and emotional growth. Yes, there’s math and reading, but there’s also learning how to be a good negotiator, how to treat others fairly, and how to listen. “These are the skills that if we invest in now, the future pay offs are huge,” said Anne Marie Stevenson, 1st grade teacher. “We are building the child inside and out,” added co-teacher Alyssa Beski.

The program Bromwell is testing is called Second Step and it focuses on teaching empathy and helping children learn critical listening skills. “We create scenarios in which the students are pushed to put themselves in other’s shoes,” noted Stevenson. “We teach them about empathy as a foundational skill for problem solving and being able to recognize that feelings can look different on other people.”

In only a few short weeks the teachers have both seen amazing progress, especially when it comes to problem solving skills. The best part about the program: it’s fun and the children look forward to the songs, videos, and of course, the puppets!

Bromwell is also testing another unique social and emotional development program with older students. A portion of these pilots were funded by parent donations, and the plans are to expand the curriculum assuming this year’s fundraising goals are met. So, this is a final shout out from Puppy and Snail encouraging you to kindly buy your auction tickets!

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Beautification Day

It’s been three years since Bromwell unveiled its shiny new interiors. And during that time, you’ve likely noticed that our outdoor spaces haven’t quite kept up. That’s about to change. First, the school secured a $22,000 bond for general landscaping improvements and those dollars are busy growing – literally – it’s the new turf, trees, and shrubs thriving behind our temporary fencing. Next, the school is working toward securing grants and additional DPS funds to lay new asphalt by the basketball courts Lastly, the Bromwell PTA has launched a new Beautification Committee this year, spearheaded by volunteer Jen Turner. On October 8, the committee will host its first “Beautification Day” and needs at least 50 volunteers to complete many exciting projects sure to make the school shine. Adults and children are welcome to help with the activities listed below. Beautification Day Improvements:
  • Planting spruce bushes, new ground cover plants, and bulbs.
  • Sealing and installing painted rocks with art teacher Mrs. Duffy.
  • Rake wood chips and add new mulch to play areas.
  • Painting.
  • Placing low fencing to protect new plantings.
  • Weeding