It all started when Mrs. Abernethy applied for a grant from Lowes Toolbox for Education to get iPads for the classroom. Well, the Powerful Penguins got the grant, and they bought six mini iPads and two full-sized iPads. They have been exploring apps and creating projects ever since.
One day, Mrs. Abernethy shared a contest being held by The Foundation for Rural Services and Discovery Education called "The Connected Community Challenge." The top prize included $2,500 for technology. Immediately the students' ears perked up. They could use that money to buy more iPads for the classroom!
Basically, this was the challenge: The students needed to find a rural town somewhere in the world to compare to their rural town (Greenville, PA.) Then they needed to make a two-minute video explaining what they found. It seemed easy enough, but it wasn't!
Students worked on the project every spare minute and voluntarily stayed after school for over a month to make their video. The town they chose was a little town in Australia with a population of fifty people called Gulargambone. They learned a lot about this town, and it didn't fit easily into a two minute video. Evenutally, they met the challenge. The result is shown below.
A lot of the work put into the video really can't be seen. Students used a variety of editing programs to create the green-screened video. They kept track of where they got all of their information, videos and photos. They even contacted a photographer on Flickr who had taken pictures of the town to ask him permission to use his pictures in the video.
The Powerful Penguins take reading seriously. Each week, they reflect on what they have read in reading class and create a project to respond to the reading. This week's stories were particularly poignant, and as usual, the Powerful Penguins rose to the occasion. From topics such as the homeless to the plight of those handicapped and in need of wheelchair access, the Powerful Penguins found a way to connect the stories to their own lives. They pondered ways to make others' lives better. Aren't these the types of problem solvers we need for our future world?