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Robots, up-cycled art, and more rule in Denver summer learning offerings

Susan Gonzalez

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  • PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez
  • PHOTO: TN.gov2. Rick Smith
  • Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith speaks at a 2014 event in Chattanooga. The district’s school board recently voted to buy out Smith’s contract in the fallout over a high school basketball team scandal.
  • Susan Gonzalez
  • PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez
  • Students practiced their goalie skills by standing in a circle and trying to stop the balls from passing between their feet. This activity was offered by YMCA. Susan Gonzalez
  • PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez4. National Learning Day
  • Students practiced their goalie skills by standing in a circle and trying to stop the balls from passing between their feet. This activity was offered by YMCA.
  • A student glues rolled up magazine pages onto a picture frame. The activity, offered by the Boys & Girls club, was all about creating "up-cyclced" art. Susan Gonzalez
  • PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez5. National Learning Day
  • A student glues rolled up magazine pages onto a picture frame. The activity, offered by the Boys & Girls club, was all about creating “up-cyclced” art.
Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: TN.gov2. Rick Smith

Susan Gonzalez
Students practiced their goalie skills by standing in a circle and trying to stop the balls from passing between their feet. This activity was offered by YMCA. Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez4. National Learning Day

A student glues rolled up magazine pages onto a picture frame. The activity, offered by the Boys & Girls club, was all about creating "up-cyclced" art. Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez5. National Learning Day

Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: TN.gov2. Rick Smith

Susan Gonzalez
Students practiced their goalie skills by standing in a circle and trying to stop the balls from passing between their feet. This activity was offered by YMCA. Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez4. National Learning Day

A student glues rolled up magazine pages onto a picture frame. The activity, offered by the Boys & Girls club, was all about creating "up-cyclced" art. Susan Gonzalez

PHOTO: Susan Gonzalez5. National Learning Day

A student glues rolled up magazine pages onto a picture frame. The activity, offered by the Boys & Girls club, was all about creating “up-cyclced” art.
Mixing and matching robotic cubes that looked straight out of a science fiction movie, a classroom of about 20 students demonstrated how they’d be spending their time in a summer program focused on building hands-on science and engineering skills called Science Matters in America.

The kids assembled the cubes in different ways to see how they behaved, like figuring out what combinations caused the blocks to light up or move backward.

Science Matters was one of six summer programs showed off for community members, district officials and school leaders at Denver Public Schools’ National Learning Day, held Wednesday at Johnson Elementary School. The event, a joint effort between DPS and the Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA), highlighted the importance of after-school and summer learning programs in Denver.

According to data from DAA, 17 after-school programs collectively served more than 5,000 students in Denver during the 2013-14 school year. City and district officials emphasized the role that the programs play in preventing learning loss during the summer months, especially for low-income students who often don’t have access to rich summer educational programming.

The event was meant to display the diversity of offerings in the city’s summer learning programs, which included art projects like creating “up-cycled” art from old magazines, sports and wellness activities like goalie practice, to language practice for students learning English.

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