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Mann 5th graders design their own miniature city

The Mann 5th graders were shown architectural examples that could inspire them to design a rectilinear building (with straight lines), but they were also told to pull ideas from their own lives as inspiration. The students spent 2 class periods designing their...

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Hatch 5th graders reach for the sky

We live outside a city that has a large and diversified skyline. We see it all the time, up close or even, on a clear day, from Oak Park. Adrienne McMullen, local architect and coordinator for OPEF's Architecture Adventure programming, used this local treasure trove...

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Let’s dance! Mann kindergartners get a move on

It's common knowledge that kindergartners like to move. Asking them to sit still in a classroom for long stretches is a tall order. Enter Corey Nagel. As part of OPEF's Art Start program, this dance and preschool instructor had Mann kindergartners movin'. But not...

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Holmes 5th graders explore hearts and bones with Dr. Hines

The 5th-grade science curriculum in District 97 focuses on the various systems in the body. But what if you could have some of those systems actually brought into the classroom to see? Dr. David Hines, M.D., a veteran of OPEF's Global Village* program and a specialist...

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Our VEX Robotics grads win big with their robotic arm

Ian Parks (standing 2nd from left), Jesse Cornman (standing 3rd from left) and Luisa Vasquez (seated, right) are former members of -- and current mentors to -- the OPEF VEX Robotics Program. Bob Parks (center, standing) is a founding VEX Robotics team leader. Three...

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Whittier students capture DNA

With the help of Dr. Oliver Pergams, Whittier 4th/5th grade students in Ms. McDaniels' class used their own cheek cells to extract samples of their own DNA. Dr. Pergams began the session by asking the kids what they know about DNA. One student offered, "It's who you...

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