Teachers stay in background as kids take a deserved bow

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The school parking lot had completely filled as the sun went down at Rover Elementary.

Parents and children were walking in, welcome banners were posted on the wall, and classroom doors were wide open awaiting visitors.

So far, this sounds like a good old-fashioned Open House Night, right?

Actually, it was an Exhibition Night where Rover students from kindergarten through fifth-grade had prepared to present their unique and thought-provoking projects to their community.

Rover Elementary hosted its second annual, school-wide Project Based Learning Showcase of Learning Night to exhibit their students’ initiatives in researching and creating projects.

Differing from a traditional open house model, the event let teachers take a back seat while students were actively at the center and ready to teach their audience something new.

Many students chose projects that offer solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, such as environmental protection and energy security.

From original inventions to dioramas, projects ranged from group to individual work in each of Rover’s classrooms.

Second-grade Teacher Marisol Canchola structured her classroom project on addressing water conservation, and students chose their own unique way of demonstrating their ideas.

Second-grader Izekial Franco addressed his solution through a spinning “water tip” wheel. He asked event attendees to spin the wheel to learn a new fact on how to conserve water at home.

“If you didn’t finish your glass of water, just give it to your plants,” Franco said after giving the wheel a spin. “Most people don’t think of that, but it really does help.”

“Our students shine in different ways, and our PBL project gave them the opportunity to create a project that is meaningful to them,” said Canchola.

“I’m so proud of our school for hosting an event that invites our entire community to support and appreciate our students’ ideas and hard work.”

Fourth-Graders Kylie Clinton and Cherish de Silva presented their invention of a television powered completely through wind energy. Their diorama of a modern day living room was made complete with a miniature fan blowing two colorful pinwheels, depicting wind turbines that power their big screen T.V.

“We came up with this idea because we wanted to help the environment by using more renewable energy,” said Clinton.

“Plus, we really love to watch T.V.!”

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