The Jefferson Primary School community has a long history of collaboration to maximize the opportunities and overall educational experience of the youngsters studying in the building.
The Jefferson PTA and the school’s faculty frequently work together on initiatives. One such opportunity recently presented itself. “It was a true labor of love when our PTA wanted to engage Jefferson students in the FIRST Lego Aqua Adventure,” Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide said.
Participants were asked to explore the use of water at home and in the community and how to improve the delivery of it from source to tap. “Create and test a team model to show your ideas,” states a poster meant to get students excited about the initiative. “Share what you learn through your team model and a ‘show me’ poster. You and your community use water for many things every day. Where does your water come from? How does it get to you? Is the water cleaned or treated before you can use it? Why is it important to use water wisely? Pick one way that you use water at home or in your community. Learn as much as you can about the water’s journey. Then design a solution to improve a part of this journey.”
Jefferson math teacher Lucy Marotta and Jefferson PTA treasurer Ken Guandique, an engineer by profession, both volunteered their time to work with the school’s Aqua Adventure teams.
“Together they prepared our second and third graders for the FIRST Lego League championship tournament that was held last weekend,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “Our newly created teams overcame challenges of funding and time.” The initiative gained important support from the PTA, Verizon, Huntington Foundation and SEPTA.
The second grade Jaguar Scientist team won the Construction Innovation Award while the third grade team that went by the name Jaguar STEAM captured the Outstanding Teamwork Award along with the overall competition itself.
“I am so proud of our students and their hard work,” Ms. Capitulo-Saide said. “They did an outstanding job presenting their boards and Lego displays. The students also worked diligently to answer the judges’ questions and defend their work. Thank you to Mrs. Marotta and Mr. Guandique for always being an advocate for all Jefferson Primary students. The Jefferson Primary School PTA is amazing!”