Frazier Elementary School opened its doors on a recent evening for a festival of hands-on learning for students, parents and other members of the community.
Remake Learning Night — one of many events taking place this week at regional schools, museums, libraries, universities and media centers — featured a variety of interactive learning stations and displays that were created by Frazier students and teachers.
This year’s theme demonstrated how technology can be applied to camping situations. Dr. Kelly Muic, principal of Frazier Elementary School, said that Remake Learning Night gives the public an opportunity to learn how much education has evolved in recent years.
“A lot of what we used to teach in schools has changed,” she said. “Today, there is more emphasis on ‘remake learning’ — an immersive educational experience that puts the focus on technology-enhanced learning tools and interactive activities. Tonight, Frazier Elementary School is showcasing what our students are doing in the realm of science, technology, education and math (STEM).”
Rachel Whittaker, a fourth-grade teacher at Frazier Elementary School who coordinated Remake Learning Night, said this year’s event gives students the opportunity to apply critical thinking skills to real-life situations.
“We wanted our students to come up with solutions for problems they might encounter while camping,” she said. “For instance, one of our interactive displays teaches people how to build a campfire. Other scenarios take visitors through the process of building an animal shelter, designing a rescue device, building a tent, making a bird’s nest and building a bridge.”
Kristin Blair, a second-grade teacher at Frazier Elementary, said that Remake Learning Night helps students develop many skills that will be helpful in their lives.
“Students are learning creativity, ingenuity, communication and collaboration,” she said. “They have to work with the materials that are available for solving a challenge. These projects help students to build self-confidence.”
Crystal Belsick, a resident of Perryopolis and mother of three Frazier Elementary students, was impressed by the high level of ingenuity on display at Remake Learning Night.
“I think it’s incredible what these students and teachers are doing today,” she said. “My kids love crafting and remake learning gives them an opportunity to apply those skills to a science project.”
Frazier Elementary School, which has about 580 students, provides classes for students from pre-kindergarten through the fifth grades. According to Dr. Muic, students and teachers began planning for Remake Learning Night last January. The school eventually plans on displaying a slideshow of Remake Learning Night on its website.
Now in its third year, Remake Learning Days in Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia has reached nearly 55,000 people and expanded to include nine days of hundreds of community-hosted festivals. The program gives parents and caregivers, particularly those with the least access to opportunity, the chance to experience the future of learning and better support their children.
For Alivia Blair, a second-grade student at Frazier Elementary, Remake Learning Night was an experience she will never forget.
“I learned how to build a tent out of pretzel sticks, gumdrops and marshmallows,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”