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Pre-K Students Learning STEM, Coding Skills

Article by Samantha Oyler with the Chronicle Tribune.

Pre-K Students learning STEM CodingWith no knowledge of a similar program anywhere else in the surrounding area, Madison-Grant’s Summitville Elementary School is pioneering a program called Argyll Adventure Academy that will expose pre-kindergarten students to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“If they’re exposed to it early enough, it’ll be like second nature,” Summitville Principal Jackie Samuels said. The preschool STEM program was first announced back in May.

Students utilize tools like Dash, an interactive robot, to draw connections between technology and the coding that goes into it.

Dash responds to voices, sounds, and commands given through students utilizing tablets.

While Dash is technically designed for children ages 6 and up, officials at Summitville have adapted his abilities to suit 4-year-olds too.

The little robot has a variety of accessories that he can interact with, like a colorful xylophone.

As students tap a key on an image of a xylophone on a tablet, Dash follows along, tapping the same key.

Jenna Langel, an innovative learning specialist with Five Star Solutions, said that while there is a specific STEM preschool program at Summitville, the focus doesn’t stop at a particular grade level.

“We’re trying to create 21st century ready students,” Langel said.

The older grade levels take on both “plugged” and “unplugged” coding activities.

“Kids love these hands-on experiences. … They don’t even know they’re getting exposed to science,” Mallory Raichel, a Summitville fifth- and sixth-grade science and social studies teacher, said.

She said that this program has been a learning experience for not only the students, but the teachers and administrators too.

Those involved in the program spent time going to information sessions and doing research on age-appropriate coding activities they could implement.

In an effort to keep kids in line with technology advancements, Raichel said some staff will be training to work with a 3-D printer soon.

Raichel also has an aquaponics system set up in her classroom, which creates a sustainable environment by combining aquaculture and hydroponics systems.

All these tools will help students gain skills they can use in the future.

Madison-Grant Speaks up for Small Schools at Rural Caucus

Dr. Scott Deetz and State Rep. Tony Cook pose togetherIndianapolis, IN - (August 14, 2019) - The Rural Caucus met today at the Indiana State Fair in the Normandy Barn, where legislators gathered to learn about the issues facing rural communities in the heartland. Small and rural schools were first up on the agenda. Dr. Scott Deetz of Madison-Grant United School Corporation and Dr. Travis Madison of Barr Reeve Community Schools both spoke on their recent success by doing what rural communities do best: build community partnerships. The superintendents are stand out small and rural school corporations able to increase offerings at every level through their ability to tap into other resources.

State Representative Tony Cook was also in attendance and credits the success of Madison-Grant “to the grassroots efforts of the Madison-Grant team to cultivate relationships with community resources that benefit the students and staff.” Dr. Scott Deetz agrees, and said of their ability to thrive in a small and rural school community, “We teach our students how important it is to be connected as part of our community. This also holds true for our school system; we really focus on partnerships.”

Every year Madison-Grant students go out into the community to learn about service, volunteerism, and being a great citizen in their area. The school corporation is setting the example for students by working together with other systems as part of a co-op to reduce costs. “We partner with other school systems to share the cost of food services and are also a part of a consortium for insurance. Our costs are 25 to 30% less than those not a part of the group. We can funnel those dollars back in house to offer more to our students.” Special education is also another area where Madison-Grant maximizes funds by subscribing to a co-op and developing the services to best meet the needs of their students. Small schools are given the opportunity to thrive when control is local, and the community is invested in their success. Deetz credits community partners for amping up an initial offering of three dual credits just two years ago to currently 50 dual credits and the opportunity for students to graduate with 18 job ready certifications. Madison-Grant’s mission is to inspire, challenge, and cultivate excellence in every Argyll.

Pictured: Dr. Scott Deetz of Madison-Grant with State Rep. Tony Cook at Indiana Rural Caucus.

Google Certified Educators
staff working on laptop computers

We'd like to congratulate our educators listed below for their achievements in becoming Google Certified Educators! Our team at Madison-Grant focuses on providing the best education possible for our students. They spent part of their summer pursuing professional development to achieve this certification through coursework and testing. Congratulations on your achievement and dedication to education! Always ready to inspire, challenge, and cultivate excellence in every Argyll.

  • Eric Cale 
  • Katie Coryell 
  • Suzie Klee
  • Todd Morgan
  • Alice Bennett
  • Tara Eastburn
  • Amy Slane
  • Brittney Creager
  • David Pyle
  • Amber Cheney
  • Christine Myers
  • Michelle Harrold
  • Ben Hook
  • Jacob Sliger
  • TJ Herniak
Madison-Grant in the News

We invite you to read through these news articles about our district.

Wyatt Rudy shooting a basketball