William Floyd Elementary School has piloted a new program this school year – the Colonial Masters Enrichment Program – for approximately 25 students in grades three through five, with each grade level focusing on a different subject. For this inaugural program, third graders focused on writing, fourth graders participated in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) initiative and fifth graders are participating in a mathematics-based investment game.
“The Colonial Masters program is an opportunity for students in grades three through five to challenge themselves in multiple subject areas in a healthy, competitive environment,” said Dr. Keith Fasciana, Principal, William Floyd Elementary School. Participating students are selected based upon their academic accomplishments and must pledge to continue their high standards of academics and citizenship. The program is run by resource room teacher, Ms. Rebecca Sharkey.
“The first year of this program has been a great success,” said Ms. Sharkey. “The different educational opportunities for each grade level were highly engaging. Students came prepared and motivated every day to learn something new and to challenge themselves. The teamwork and cooperation of each group was wonderful; they really supported each other throughout the learning process. I think that their participation in Colonial Masters is something that they value and will remember for a long time!”
The first phase of the program began last fall, in which 10 third-grade students participated in a writing program that focused on poetry and short stories. During the eight week program, students explored different types of poetry and writing techniques. Using the writing process, they each prepared a poem that was submitted to Creative Communication’s “Poetic Power Contest.” Eight of the 10 students were chosen to have their poems published in a newly-released poetry anthology. The students also submitted short stories to Stone Soup: Stories, Poems and Art by Kids for publication consideration. Third graders participating in this program are Claira Parente, Muhammad Saad, Hamza Cheema, Madison Heaney, Matthew Maloney, Elleesia Carcione, Gavin Coyle, Hannah Schultzer, Nicholas Powers and Sofia Peren.
During the winter months, eight fourth graders participated in a STEAM program to prepare for an Egg Drop Competition at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY. During the course of this program, this “Eggcellent Eight” learned about gravity, force, motion, and other scientific fundamentals in an effort to design an egg-carrying device that had the capability of protecting a raw egg from a 30-foot drop. Students took their time to build a successful egg carrier and tested them out in school. After multiple test drops, and many adjustments along the way, the students were ready to compete.
At the contest, students went to the second floor of the museum to drop their devices onto a target below. The goal was to have their device hit the target and to keep the egg from breaking. Prizes were awarded for egg survival and/or hitting the target. One student, Maria Pado, hit the target and her egg survived the drop! Five other students, Aisha Barrie, Ava Cusimano, Nadia DaGama Paes, Andrew Ferrara, and Ava Ng all kept their eggs from breaking. Julian Podstupka and Mali Roberts also participated in the contest and their efforts were recognized. The students also had the opportunity to walk around the museum and learn about the history of aviation right here on Long Island.
Currently, several fifth grade students are participating in the Stock Market Game, a virtual program that integrates math, language arts, economics, social studies and other subjects into one. The eight students have been split into two teams: Julia Abbaticchio, Maggie Hua and Taitym Maryon calling themselves “The Money Monarchs,” and, Aiden Grover, Nicholas Hristidis, Aiden Monahan, Kei Roberts and Joshua Schultzer calling themselves “The People Who Invest in Things.” Each team started out with $100,000 in virtual money to invest in the stock market. Students have been managing their portfolios as a team by keeping track of purchases, trades and profits. Each team researched various companies and their histories, as well as economic trends to help inform their decisions. The team who has earned the most money (or lost the least) at the end of the program will win the competition.
“I am happy that we were able to design and execute this program so that our students could be challenged and experience a variety of educational competitions,” said Dr. Fasciana.