LCPS Debuts Creation Station

LCPS Debuts Creation Station
Posted on 08/21/2019

A new, exciting era of innovation at Louisa County Middle School was officially set into motion on Monday, August 5th with the ribbon cutting of the school’s state-of-the-art Creation Station classroom!

Some may wonder what a Creation Station classroom is. Creation Station, simply put, is the classroom of the future. Louisa County Middle School’s Creation Station features the latest educational tech tools on the market, including 3D printers, virtual reality headsets, online modeling programs, high-definition cameras and more! Forward-thinking school divisions are introducing the classrooms to their students because it offers an environment where the students can grow both academically and socially through hands-on activity and experimentation!

The August 5th ribbon cutting was held during Open House at Louisa County Middle School, allowing for hundreds of parents and students to drop in for their first look at Creation Station. Inside, they saw the results of more than eight months of planning and preparation.

“The ribbon cutting ceremony was the first time we got to see students in the space interacting with all of the new technology, and that was fantastic,” said Kenny Bouwens, LCPS CTE Director of STEAM and Innovation. “You could feel the excitement in the room as you watched the students and parents rotating through the stations we had set up!”

Bouwens was part of a team that was tasked to create Creation Station by LCPS superintendent Doug Straley, who wanted to bridge the gap between opportunities offered through STEAM Labs in the school division’s four elementary schools and in-depth CTE courses at Louisa County High School. 

“As our students go out into the world, we recognize that they need to have a comprehensive understanding of The 5 C’s, which are communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship,” Straley said. “This space is going to be a place where they can immerse themselves in those 5 C’s. This space is really going to help them have a leg up when it comes to job opportunities, college admission opportunities, or military opportunities.”  

To plan for the space, Bouwens was joined by LCMS librarian Rebecca Baughman, LCMS technology coach Kate Straley, and LCMS principal Todd Weidow. Together, the group researched Creation Stations from other school divisions nationwide. The team even took a tour of a college-level Creation Station to gain a deeper understanding of what the school’s space should offer.

Beyond the months of planning and research, Bouwens said one other large factor played a significant role in the project’s success: support. 

“Superintendent Straley, the Louisa County School Board, and the Louisa County Board of Supervisors were the spark that ignited this project.,’ Bouwens said. “With the new resources available to our students at LCMS, there is no limit on what they can achieve.”

School Board chairman Greg Strickland and Board of Supervisors chairman Toni Williams – both of whom spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony – said the project was an easy one to get behind.

“This is the type of classroom that makes learning fun, and that’s how it should be,” Strickland said. “Our students deserve classrooms where they are challenged to be creative each and every day.”

“You know, when I take a look at this classroom, one word that comes to my mind is commitment,” Williams added. “This school division, the Louisa County School Board, and the Board of Supervisors, we are committed to the students of this county. We’re always going to be working to make sure our students get the best education they possibly can.”

Heading into the 2019-2020 school year, it’s clear that Creation Station will give teachers more flexibility with lessons and students more options to express their creativity.

“The teachers can use it for resources they don’t have available in the classroom,” Baughman said. “Instead of a written book report, they could record their report using our green screen and editing equipment. They can also create a 3D image from the book using one of our 3D printers.”

Soon after the ribbon was cut and the doors were opened, Bouwens stood behind a young student as he examined a 3D, computerized model of the human heart. Using a stylus, the wide-eyed young man was able to rotate the model around and identify different sections of the heart.

During the process, Bouwens couldn’t help but smile.

“It’s inspiring to work for a school division and community that supports innovation and believes in educational spaces like this,” he said.

For video highlights of Creation Station, click here!

 

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