Winter Session Updates

We are thrilled to be touching base with our Starfire community at the mid-point of Winter Session 2019. We are excited to be collaborating on critical thinking skill development, deep learning, and fun with our Starfire students.  

Class News
The Starfire curriculum emphasizes exploration and hands-on-learning over memorization.  This generates useful context for students that is helpful in learning and retaining new skills.  

Here are som fun examples of activities and challenges happening in Starfire classrooms:

  • Luyi’s Art & Design class at La Entrada worked to turn 2D shapes into 3D forms.  The students created masks out of their newly formed 3D shapes.

  • Tejal’s Electrical Engineering class at Brewer Island learned the concept of insulators vs. conductors and how those concepts apply to real world engineering scenarios.

  • Jennifer’s Math class at Escondido completed a highly interactive workshop estimating the number of gems in a glass and the length of a string. Students were asked to explain/defend their reasoning and encouraged to risk conjectures.

Teacher Spotlight
We are proud of the enthusiastic, credentialed and dedicated teachers at Starfire.  We would love to share some information about one of the newest members of our team, Samina. Our Starfire Education instructor Samina started her career as a software engineer, working at places like Cisco and Oracle doing software development. More recently, she has focused on being a Technical Trainer and coding Instructor in a variety of settings. Samina is also community minded! She is involved in the training department of Women in Big Data.

She is also a mom to two teenage boys who share her love of reading, computers and museums. She has enjoyed mentoring her boys and wants to share that enjoyment with Starfire Education students.

Starfire Learning Tools
Design Thinking is one of the pedagogical tools our students use to solve problems.  The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize and glean insights. Design thinking is a strategy for solving problems through creativity, and innovation. Starfire teachers help students apply the skills used by designers to solve problems posed in their classrooms, whether they are posed in math, coding or engineering classes.  Design thinking as a problem solving method was developed at Stanford, and is a growing feature of STEM education. We love the research coming out of REDLab at Stanford University Graduate School of Education and its focus on the use of Design Thinking in K-12 Education.

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