Building Sustainable Dream Homes (on a budget)

For three weeks 5th graders at Longfellow spent their art time working with architect Maya Bird-Murphy creating their Sustainable Dream Homes. Students were given an imaginary  budget of $50 to invest in sustainable strategies for their homes. They could choose from recycling/composting, a rain barrel, a solar panel, a wind turbine and/or drought-resistant plants. Since […]

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Everybody Wants to Be King

Ms. Utter’s second graders at Longfellow Elementary embarked on a musical journey to Pride Rock, culminating in a roaring performance of Lion King‘s “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” for parents, classmates and principal Angela Dolezal The production, brought to Longfellow by OPEF’s Art Start Program and guest artist Lekeya Shearrill, was designed to […]

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Spoken Word Expands to 6th Grade

Thanks to a partnership with D97, OPEF’s popular Spoken Word residencies have expanded to include 6th grade as well as 7th grade. The original 7th grade program launched in Fall 2015. Spoken Word is a powerful and effective medium for fostering creativity and self-expression in young people.Through both in-school residencies and extracurricular clubs, students learn […]

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Robots and the American Revolution

What if Paul Revere was played by a robot? Working with D97 librarians, we recently began a pilot program for fifth graders combining our popular Geared Up and Robotics programs. The six-week residency excites kids about coding, tech, and robots and provides a new look at the curriculum. Fifth graders at Hatch Elementary are wrapping […]

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Spoken Word Residencies Start at the Middle School

  Fall is here and poetry is in the air. Seventh grade students in Ms. Stringham’s Language Arts classes at Brooks received the first Spoken Word residency of the year. Spoken Word artist Christian Robinson (also known as rapper Rich Robbins) met with classes throughout the week and helped students explore the rich tradition of […]

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Back to the Birds at Irving

For over five years falconer and scientist Craig Hendee has been swooping in to Oak Park schools with his Peregrine Falcon, Alvin. This year, Hendee brought a special guest, a six-month old endangered Saker Falcoln named Susie. Hendee works with the International Heritage Conservancy and his hands-on visits are funded by Science Alliance. Over the […]

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Building a Sustainable Future for OPEF Robotics

  Over the years the VEX Robotics program has continued to grow, helping Oak Park middle school students gain valuable problem solving, communication, and engineering skills. Our program became a model for middle schools statewide because OPEF invested in cutting-edge technology and top-notch coaching, and we are committed to enhancing our program quality for the […]

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Ozobots & Architecture at Holmes STEM Night

Last week we were thrilled to be asked to stop by Holmes’ STEM night. It gave us a chance to visit the amazing replicas of Chicago buildings created by Holmes students in Architecture Adventure. We also got to see all the creative ways students found to play with the Ozobots! Thanks to Holmes for hosting […]

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Art Start Around Town

This month District 97 students have been hard at play and work, both of which mean they’ve been learning! Students in Ms. Schweigerts class at Beye Elementary School have been working with theater director LeKeya Shearrill to create a video that shares their knowledge about the life cycle of the butterfly. Students started out as […]

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Beye, Hatch, and Longfellow Visit with Scientists

Around here, April showers don’t just bring flowers, they bring scientists! On April 3, Dr. Elizabeth Goodman visited Ms. Baker’s class at Beye. Dr. Goodman spoke with students about geology and passed around samples of different types of rocks, such as obsidian and basalt. She talked about how these rocks might have been used in […]

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