By Eduardo Barraza
December 2, 2016
(Gilbert, Arizona) -- Imagination, innovation and inspiration were three fitting words for an attractive event at Quartz Hill Elementary School held Thursday evening, where students, families and staff had the opportunity to see first-hand these three terms take shape in a three-dimensional, creative and fun way.
The 1st Annual Evening of Imagination, Innovation and Inspiration showcased student science and art innovation projects throughout the school building.
The event was organized in collaboration with ASU Polytech Engineering.
Joan Henry, Quartz Hill Principal, said ASU’s engineering students are building innovation tools that match the standards for each school level, K through 6th grade.
“We are going to have an innovation tool that students can use in the classroom,” said Henry. “Then we can share these innovation tools as we do science projects.”
This partnership gives elementary-age kids the opportunity to build their own projects, and at the same time exposes them to higher-level and more complex projects.
The goal is to stimulate their imagination and foster inspiration as they continue into secondary and post-secondary education.
“Partnering with ASU engineering gives our students the feel for what it’s like to be an engineer, what it’s like to be at a university level,” said Henry. “Those [ASU] students are also learning about teaching younger students.”
Families and visitors had a chance to see a large number of projects built by students on display, both basic and complex.
Henry has been with Gilbert Public Schools nearly 15 years, half of the time as a teacher and the other half as an administrator. This is her first year as principal at Quartz Hill.
The event fell within the context of Henry’s enhanced technology innovation’s goal for the 2016-17 school year.
Accordingly, as the new cycle began in early August, Henry established a new tagline for the school year: 'Blazing a Trail to the Future: Imagination, Innovation, and Inspiration,’ which seeks to put Quartz Hill’s students on their way to college and career readiness.
Henry’s clever choice of words for her catchy tagline –imagination, innovation, inspiration– can’t help but lead to a fourth one, almost in an arithmetic addition fashion.
Summing up her expectation for Thursday’s event, this fourth, unwritten word literally slipped out of Henry’s mouth.
“We are very excited about the potential here.”