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Author: Morgan Kolis

My name is Morgan and I have been teaching for 7 complete years. I graduated with a Masters in Education in 2008 from Baldwin Wallace College. I chose to study Educational Technology there. In 2003, I graduated from Heidelberg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. I currently maintain 2 teaching licenses (Intervention Specialist and Early Childhood Education) and one endorsement (Reading). In 1999, I graduated from Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. I've spent the last 6 years teaching at Hilton School is Brecksville, Ohio. I've taught a wide variety of students each with unique and defining characteristics. I've had the pleasure of learning about and working with students with autism, Down syndrome, 2q37 Deletion Syndrome, cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, speech and language impairments, learning disabilities, Asperger's syndrome, ODD, and ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive, and combined types). I currently work with students with moderate to intensive special needs.

Tornado and Hurricane Proof House Day!

Due to a scheduling conflict, we were not able to take the third-grade class on a field trip to the CWRU thinkbox this year, BUT, Professor Jim Bader came to run a STEM Design Challenge for us right here at Highland! Using only tape, popsicle sticks, paperclips, and paper, students constructed structures that would withstand the wind of a hurricane! Check out these priceless photos!

Visit from the WORLD CHAMPIONS!

The third-grade Highland Drive Makers’ Club got a visit from the WORLD CHAMPION BBH High School Robotics Team!  They told us all about their design process, talked about their notebook documents, showed us videos of the championship match, AND let us drive their ‘bot! How awesome! Click here to check out the photos of their visit!  

Second Grade Egg Drop

Our second graders worked on a mini-egg drop challenge for two weeks of Makers’ Club at the end of the school year.  They were able to climb the large custodian’s ladder to test out their parachutes.   Check out the photos here.

TEMPLATE- Project of the Week

Click the link found below for a template to write your own Project of the Week.  This template includes materials, objectives, essential questions, directions, extensions, and standards included in your lesson. Additionally, there is a recording sheet template attached.  This follows the design process/ scientific method as closely as possible and should match your lesson plan. Click here to MAKE A COPY of this template.

Grant Opportunities and Funding

We have been lucky enough to be rewarded with several education grants to fund our makerspace and STEAM program at Highland Drive. Here are some of the grant opportunities we’ve received along with a list of additional grant funding you might try for: Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools Foundation (You might check to see if your district has one of these awesome foundations!)  GPD Employees’ Foundation        Leonard Gelfand STEM Center at CWRU       Donors Choose     Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Discovery Education Siemen’s STEM Day Lowe’s Toolbox for Education How to Create an Amazon Wish List…

Make Your Own Board Game

This week in third-grade Makers’ Club, we challenged students to build their own board games with a partner or on their own.  Can you believe that some kids said they do not play board games at home!?!? Students were asked to do some planning first and think through a theme, color scheme, game pieces, and rules.  Then, they began creating. Next week, students will complete their games and ask other students to play the game.  After that, we will redesign and fix our games. Please click here to see photos of our first and second planning sessions.

LEGO Cars v. Brackitz Cars

This week, students in third-grade Makers’ Club were asked to build cars.  One side of the room was given LEGO materials to work with and the other side of the room was given Brackitz thanks to a donation from the Leonard Gelfand STEM Center at CWRU! Check out the photos from the run here!  

Axle Annie!

After reading the book Axle Annie to students in our second and third-grade Makers’ Clubs, we challenged students to design a “snow remover” that would help Axle Annie get up the hill even faster.  Students were asked to build a snow remover that could lift the most “snow” (cotton balls) in thirty seconds using only 3 fingers to operate. Check out these photos for the first day of the design process.


This week we turned our makerspace into a “breakerspace!”  With the help of Mr. C, our club got a chance to take apart some old machines using wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.  We had a great time seeing what was inside! Click here to see our photos!