Lamping Elementary - History and Community
The staff, students, parents and community of Lamping Elementary School are committed to excellence in education. It is our mission to provide a caring, positive and safe learning environment where each child is challenged to achieve commensurate with his or her ability and is provided enriching experiences that foster personal integrity, respect and responsibility. At Lamping, the teachers, parents, and community all work together to provide the best education possible for our children. A key aspect to this partnership is parent volunteers. Teachers request the help of parent volunteers to prepare materials, complete projects, chaperone field trips, and help with class projects. We are proud to be ranked as one of the top schools in the CCSD. A big part of success is high expectations. Higher expectations bring higher achievement. We ask that parents demonstrate the importance of a good education by making school a priority, ensuring school assignments are completed accurately, volunteering in their child’s classroom, and communicating with and supporting all teachers. Lamping was designated as a STEM school by the Nevada STEM Coalition, meeting rigorous standards for providing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics instruction and experiences for all students. Maintaining excellence in education, Lamping serves over 700 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
With extensive parent and community involvement a partnership was formed with Barry and Audrey McCool to honor their son by naming our Science Center after William McCool; pilot of the ill-fated Columbia Space Shuttle Mission. It was Willie McCool’s dream to teach students the wonders of science when he retired from NASA. It seemed only appropriate that the Lamping’s Science Center continue his dream through its mission. While plans were developed to further the expansion of STEM instruction throughout all classrooms, additional areas were developed in the Science Center for all teachers and students to use during lessons and units of study. Lamping purchased a three-quarter scale space shuttle simulator and mission control center, the first of its kind on the West Coast. Our students now sit in the cockpit, manipulate the controls and use critical thinking skills to solve challenging problems through actual space flight simulations. Our children now have a shot at traveling in space before they even think of getting a driver’s license! The William McCool Science Center Foundation was formed, inviting committed parents and key community members to become founding board members and guide the direction of building the science center to support STEM instruction on campus. The Lamping community continues to dedicate itself to the task of fundraising to maintain excellence in science and STEM education, with an annual budget of $45,000; covering programming, supplies and salaries.
At Lamping, STEM lessons are taught on a daily basis in every grade level. Science and technology lessons from the FOSS curriculum are integrated into grade level long range plans in order to ensure quality instruction in every classroom for every student. Lamping Elementary also has the advantage of having a dedicated STEM specialist that works out of our William McCool Science Center who teaches all students on a weekly basis. This position provides extra STEM support to all students in the areas of science, robotics, and technology. Lamping also offers hands-on instruction with our space shuttle simulator, paleontology fossil dig area, greenhouse, and observatory. Teachers embed STEM instruction into all areas of the curriculum, covering topics such as robotics, computer science, meteorology, computer literacy, graphic design, and astrology. Additionally, Lamping Elementary offers after-school activities such as Rubik’s cube and gardening club. Intermediate students also participate in STEM field trips each year including exploring Mt. Charleston, Astrology Camp, and learning about ocean life on Catalina Island.
Lamping staff use STEM curriculum to develop critical thinking and problem solving, as well as collaborative skills for students. Engaging and hands-on lessons meet the needs of all students on campus. For example, in our GATE and Science programs we teach engineering to meet the needs of both visual and tactile learners. Presented with a challenge, our students begin an engineering task with critical thinking about a problem and brainstorming a solution. Critical thinking is a lifelong skill that is needed for our young leaders, and is best taught in practice. Furthermore, by asking students to solve a problem, it can turn into a collaborative effort with other students in order to share and incorporate the most effective ideas to form a solution to any given activity. Lamping students also use critical thinking and collaboration as they manipulate the controls and solve challenging problems through space flight simulations in our space shuttle simulator. At Lamping, we encourage collaborative problem solving from the time that students first enter school through the time they leave our campus to prepare them for their future career and higher education.
STEM Integration Within the Classroom
At Lamping Elementary, it is a goal to embed cross-curricular instruction every day. Teachers work collaboratively to consistently combine two or more academic content areas into instruction, such as a writing or reading component included in a health, science or social studies assignment. Teachers meet weekly to communicate all areas of opportunity for cross-curricular teaching within their grade level team. This ensures that all educators have an equal chance to provide a well-rounded curriculum for students. Instructional planning expectations are provided for teachers to assist with providing STEM integration. Specialists, such as music, art, and physical education teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to develop project-based learning activities that involve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Lamping staff recently selected and began the implementation of National Geographic’s Reach for Reading curriculum for ELA instruction. This program incorporates writing, grammar, whole group and small group close reading materials, strongly focused on scientific inquiry. Reach for Reading includes a variety of reading passages specifically designed for informational texts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students are exposed to a variety of texts dealing with current events and scientific ideas. Envisions 2.0 is the math program used for all Lamping students, which incorporates many hands-on math explorations and STEM components for cross-curricular activities. The Full Option Science System (FOSS) allow students to investigate a variety of concepts throughout their learning at Lamping.. These programs, combined with rigorous multi-disciplinary activities provided by the teachers and administration, ensure STEM content is effectively integrated in all areas of instruction.
Assessment of STEM Learning
Assessment is an important aspect of the STEM efforts at Lamping. It is essential for teachers to make instructional decisions based on the needs of students. We assess our students in this area in a variety of ways. Classroom teachers incorporate both formative and summative assessments into their curriculum to gauge student understanding and mastery. Prior to instruction, students participate in pre assessments in the FOSS science curriculum in order to drive student learning. Post assessments administered after each investigation are analyzed to demonstrate and evaluate student performance growth and teacher effectiveness. Students actively participate in our William McCool Science Center (WMSC) activities to prepare for success on the science portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Fourth and fifth grade students participate in an annual science fair, which demonstrates their understanding of the scientific inquiry process. Lamping students also complete benchmark assessments in the core math curriculum as well as interim tests such as MAP, to assess their growth and mastery of mathematical concepts in kindergarten through third grade. Teachers meet during weekly professional learning community teams to evaluate student scores and collaborate on ways to improve STEM instruction.
The learning environment at Lamping Elementary School is systemic to student growth, mastery, and success. Every classroom offers a welcoming experience where students are empowered to work in a cooperative and productive manner. Teachers continually integrate science, technology, engineering, and math into daily instruction for all students. Lamping Elementary School has a significant impact on student achievement in STEM education. Currently, Lamping’s learning environment includes the “Five E’s”. Students are encouraged to explore, engage, explain, elaborate, and evaluate, which allows for differentiation of instruction. All learning environments at Lamping allow for active engagement, productive academic discourse, and cooperative learning which encourages all students to learn how to problem solve, develop critical thinking skills, and synthesize divergent ideas through inquiry-based learning. Lamping Elementary School has a state of the art science center. The William McCool Science Center allows students to integrate STEM activities into core subject areas. One key component is the technology of the space shuttle simulators where students have the opportunity to experience simulator challenges and must cohesively problem solve. The simulators allow students to master new ways of acting and thinking which integrate STEM education into the core curriculum. Additionally, Lamping hosts a Paleontology center where students are able to observe dinosaur bones and utilize a dig to find dinosaur bones. Lamping’s greenhouse is home to various plant species where students have the opportunity to learn through project-based learning and determine how to sustain plant growth and development. All teachers at Lamping utilize the FOSS kits which provide hands-on and inquiry-based learning. Additionally, teachers model the Scientific Processes with all students when completing experiments. Teachers also integrate science into their reading and math programs. With the adoption of the National Geographic Reach for Reading Series this year our reading curriculum provides extensive non-fiction text throughout the lessons allowing students to make real-life connections during units of study. Recently, our school received and installed new 4K video conferencing equipment to bring a number of new learning experiences right into the classrooms with students. Fourth-grade students engaged with a geologist from the Nevada Division of Minerals. This experience provided opportunities for students to video conference and learn about what a geologist studies and investigates in addition to earth processes such as volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, and earthquakes. Students also learned connections that all lights and electrical outlets inside their school are connected by earth minerals used to transfer electricity. STEM must be a central and enduring thread throughout education K-12. There must be equity in access to STEM across all demographics so we can produce an adequate number of skilled workers and students pursuing STEM fields and careers.
Teachers at Lamping Elementary use inquiry-based learning to teach STEM-related experiences inside and outside the classroom by following the four Phases of Inquiry Based Learning: Interaction; Clarification; Questioning; and Design. Intermediate grade students attend Astrocamp, Catalina Island Marine Institute, and Camp Lee at Mt. Charleston. Students participate in inquiry-based instruction before and after these trips. They dive into engaging, relevant, and credible media forms to identify a reason or opportunity for inquiry. Third grade students choose a desert animal to research. Teachers guide students with questions to assist and reason for inquiry: What sources of information are available to me? What’s worth studying? What possibilities, problems, or situations tend to interest me? What types of experiences, perspectives, and data are available to me? The first phase teachers utilize is Interaction, allowing students to interact with resources. Students discover what information they will need, ideally from formal (i.e., research) and informal (e.g., reading, social and digital media, collaboration) means. Students record learning in science notebooks and keep digital notes during research. Students are then often observed summarizing, paraphrasing, and categorizing learning with the teacher. The next phase of Clarification begins with students analyzing data, identifying and clarifying misconceptions, getting a feel for the nature, and selecting topics of inquiry. After skimming, reading, watching, and interacting with a variety of media, students clarify their own thinking. It is here that students explore ideas for projects, scientific challenges, opportunities for revision, need for design thinking, and a new scale to tackle persistent problems. During the Questioning phase, students ask questions to drive self-directed inquiry. At this final stage of the inquiry-based learning process, learners are focused on Design. Designing an accessible, relevant, and curiosity-driven action or product to culminate and justify inquiry. A variety of units of study evident where students follow the inquiry process. Our third grade students engage in animal research as they prepare for the exploratory learning on the overnight Mt. Charleston learning trip. Individual projects incorporate all portions of the inquiry process and build on students’ learning during and after the hands-on lab designed during the trip. Additionally, students in fourth grade attend AstroCamp, while fifth grade students attend Catalina Island Marine Institute. Similarly, students conduct experiments and research surrounding the topics of learning during these experiences: animal adaptations; effects of environment on sea life; effects of human life on air and weather; relationships between our planet and objects and systems around it; and general inquiry learning.
Student Collaboration - Local and Global Problems
Lamping Elementary has a strong belief in preparing students to build an understanding of the world we live in and the changes that will occur over time. Students are provided opportunities to recognize the connection between local and global problems. Teachers at Lamping provide students with the opportunity, at all grade levels, to tackle challenges that we as a world face on a daily basis. Our belief at Lamping Elementary is that our lessons should incorporate engineering projects that are directly related to STEM and the Next Generation Science Standards. Students discuss local and global problems in which they feel need immediate attention, and then brainstorm how they can help. Some units integrating this concept are: building bridges, utilizing gardens and a greenhouse for sustainability, and both individual and whole class inquiry-based science projects. Students learn about the challenges with bridges, investigate their varied structures, and then experiment with the most effective solutions for long-lasting structures in our community. Students investigate the types and amounts of foods that are eaten around the world, engaging in the school garden. Students explore various aspects of plant life, including fruits and vegetables, and the environments in which they are grown. Students then explore the environmental, economical, political and cultural factors that affect access to food across the globe. Students develop an understanding of why some people in the world have more than enough to eat, while others struggle to have the basics for survival, and explore ways people could work together to achieve food security for all. Groups of students engaged in collaborative projects in collaboration with HI-SEAS, where our students engaged in inquiry learning to develop ideas for sustainable living on Mars; water systems, air systems, and food sustainability. The inquiry process is developed with all students to understand how to improve the world around them. Beginning in the primary grades where teachers facilitate whole-class inquiry based science fair projects, students in the intermediate grades conduct individual projects to investigate and solve a problem. This learning is a collaboration between classroom teachers and WMSC science specialist, leading to students submitting their final works in both the Lamping and the UNLV Science Fairs.
STEM and Career Development
Educators have a significant impact in preparing students for STEM related careers, most successfully when incorporating a variety of STEM related experiences during learning and providing connections to careers in STEM related fields throughout their education. Innovations in technology and within the tech-related industry are ever evolving and require educators to prepare students for careers that may not even been developed yet. To ensure success in a STEM related career, students and educators must work together so that the curriculum content is comprehensible, yet processes and skills are acquired so that students are prepared to apply their content and 21st Century skills into new real-life experiences. When presented with learning opportunities where students are required to solve a problem or tackle an assignment, learning is best served as teachers guide their thinking process and creative problem-solving skills throughout learning. As educators, the processes and experiences of learning are more critical than the content itself. Preparing students with 21st Century skills throughout learning is essential for them to apply the use of the learned content as a productive and collaborative citizen in our ever evolving career workforce: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Information, literacy, Media literacy, Technology literacy, Flexibility, Leadership, Initiative, Productivity, and Social skills. These skills are intended to help students keep up with the lightning-pace of today’s modern markets. Lamping provides a great deal of opportunities where these 21st Century skills are taught, fostered and developed to meet this need. Culminating activities to a robotic unit of study for fifth grade and GATE students were coordinated to make ties between robotics and careers where this technology was being developed. Lamping students attended a field trip to Sunrise Children’s Hospital to participate in a simulation with the da Vinci robotic arms used for surgery. A urologist met with students to explain the connections of this technology to his career, and how he prepared for and attended medical school. Our counselor coordinates Career Days and facilitates a Career Cafe. The Career Cafe takes place during lunch time all year and Career Day was offered as an assembly, where guests form STEM careers were invited in from the community to talk fifth grade students about their career paths. They answer questions and share what is required to obtain employment in their profession. Researchers continue discovering a powerful link between STEM and early childhood; and that by learning STEM skills early on, children are better prepared for school and all future careers. With a focus on providing high-quality STEM programs with young children, we are inspiring and motivating future leaders in the STEM careers of tomorrow. Supporting higher education and continued education in STEM related fields, Lamping Elementary, through the William McCool Science Center Foundation and WMSC on our campus offer two $1,000 college scholarships for any CCSD graduating senior who attended Lamping Elementary School for at least one school year and is enrolling in a 4 year college with a focus on and STEM related field.
Highly effective and active leadership of site-based administrators are essential to the effective implementation of STEM learning in schools. At Lamping, the administrators support the implementation and integration of STEM related activities and instruction throughout the programming for students pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. This support is evidenced with strategic scheduling, targeting resources for materials and staffing, facilitating collaboration among staff, designing high quality professional development for staff and being a model of how to support STEM instruction and experiences for students. The administration IS strong advocates for STEM learning throughout the school year. This is evident in the schedules designed to prioritize STEM learning, building a master schedule which provides a science special in the WMSC within the specialists’ rotation. Additionally, intermediate students are scheduled to operate the space shuttle simulators, teachers are scheduled hands-on science materials with the FOSS rotation, and STEM overnight field trips are planned both away and at the school to develop deeper understanding and application of essential content and processes. Each year, under the leadership of the principal, resources are allocated in the site budget, the WMSC budget, and the PTA budget for school goals. These monies, along with those generated in a variety of fundraising and course fees allow our school to provide and expand on the STEM related experience for students. This was evident in the further development of STEM spaces of the WMSC, uses of ChromeBooks in Google Classroom for intermediate students, and Telepresence video conferencing. With the site-based Science Curriculum Team, staff collaborate as part of the governance structure of the school. The staff participating in the leadership role of STEM engage to evaluate and take action on the successes and next steps for our school as it relates to quality STEM instruction for all students. Whether in the analyzing of summative performance tasks or planning engagement experiences for students and families, the administrators support teachers in the further development of STEM experiences for the Lamping community. Further collaboration is structured by the administration between and among the staff; this is accomplished in the collaborations of Accelerated Learning Model of GATE in third grade, the departmentalization of student in fifth grade; the late bird GATE model; grade level Professional Learning Communities, and structured collaborations on targeted topics during Site-Based Collaboration Time (SBCT). During this time for professional development, teacher leaders as well as administrators provide new content and opportunities for teachers within the grade level to plan on-going STEM experiences for students: STEM to STEAM book study; Science Interim Assessments; and Science Inquiry to name a few. It is clearly evident that the administrators are highly devoted to the idea of providing students with memorable and invaluable STEM experiences. Attending each of the overnight STEM field trips annually (Mt. Charleston, AstroCamp, CIMI, Lehman Caves, Washington DC, and Boston), the principal also facilitates overnight science camps on campus for students to explore and numbers of STEM related topics.
Lamping families are strongly encouraged to engage and support students in a myriad of ways. The principal clearly states the objectives and goals of our school at Open House and shares the many ways that Lamping incorporates STEM instruction and how families can support. Parents are provided opportunities to engage and mold their child’s learning through a variety of routes that develop Family-School Partnerships, including Parent-Student Teacher-Academic-Planning-Time, participation in School Governance, PTA membership, classroom volunteers, and Watch D.O.G.S. During Academic Nights families are invited to view the many interesting STEM-based projects that students are working on in the classroom. Parents and families are encouraged to participate in the activities themselves and take home resources to refer to when working with their children at home. Lamping’s School Organizational Team is made up of teachers, parents, support staff and community members who actively participate in important decisions which significantly impact our school. The team is responsible for crafting the school’s budget and aligning school programs with the needs of the local community as well as the culture and climate of the school. Lamping staff designate ample time for STEM instruction. Once a week, students attend a 50 minute class in the William McCool Science Center. During this weekly class the students engage in extensive STEM projects that directly correlate to the classroom science content. Students use this time to work cohesively on science experiments, engineering activities, real-world problem solving, paleontology, and space shuttle simulations. Furthermore, each class is expected to complete science and STEM units of study in the classroom by incorporating the FOSS curriculum. The Lamping community is committed to continued professional growth and development in education. Teachers engage in site-based professional development on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Response to Instruction, Nevada Educator Performance Framework and best instructional practices for all students to learn. Lamping’s award winning PTA does much more than fundraising for our school. The Lamping PTA works together to promote a sense of community and family involvement within the school community. A few of the events the Lamping PTA sponsors annually are: Accelerated Reading; Reflections; Uniform Exchange; The Fall Festival; Safety Committee; Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast; Academic Night; WMSC programming; technology purchases for one-to-one devices; and Watch D.O.G.S.; along with actively supporting teachers in the classroom. Lamping students and their families (chaperones) are able to experience what they are studying through wonderful field trips. Students study marine life and biology at the Catalina Marine Institute, rocketry and space at AstroCamp in Idyllwild, California, and forestry and habitats at Mount Charleston, Nevada. Lamping offers many opportunities for students and their families to attend after school science camps. Through the programming offered from the William McCool Science Center our staff host a number of science camps such as: Birds of Prey; Pumpkinology; Space Science; Magnets and Electricity; and Paleontology. These camps are taught by Lamping teachers and administrators and are open to all students, designing specific sessions for specific ages.
STEM and Community Partnerships
One of our well-known mottos is “From Lamping…to Del Webb…to Coronado…to college and beyond!” This focus to our community and future has opened up some partnerships that we truly cherish. The Lamping PTA, recognized as Nevada’s top PTA fosters the idea of connecting the school to the community. They sponsor community events where our school connects with local businesses, Universities, and families. They provide a sense of community and family involvement within the school while valuing what our larger community has to offer for our students’ development and success. Local businesses and professionals such as Speedee Mart, Kohl’s Department Store and Chik-fil-A, have provided mentorship and opportunities for students through Career Days activities, annual Fun-Runs, and sponsorship goals for STEM programming. A local police officer in our municipality facilitates learning for fifth grade students through the DREAM program. This program provides students to explore and investigate ways to handle peer pressure and other challenges that may occur over the rest of their schooling. The program provides students with the knowledge and self-awareness to make positive choices. Along our Columbia Shuttle Memorial Walkway there are seven memorial benches and trees in honor of the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 astronauts. In partnership with NASA, programs for space exploration are provided to students in the WMSC. Stones to the entrance of the William McCool Science Center are engraved with messages from Lamping families, who committed to the development and delivery of STEM programming for our students. In collaboration with the Nevada PTA and local PTA chapters, the Watch DOGS program was established to provide opportunities for fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers or male guardians to support our students and are able to give some of their time to volunteer on campus to be a visible role model to the students. Green Thumb Investors, a Lamping business of our very own fourth graders, is brought to us through our partnerships with Speedee Mart and Nevada State Bank. Students are involved in a long-term science and economics unit to run a successful business while they plant, cultivate and sell plants for profit in the WMSC greenhouse. With help from the City of Henderson, grants were written to acquire one-to-one ChromeBook devices for students in grades four and five. This technology provides students with opportunities to differentiate content delivery, differentiate student assessments, increase engagement and interaction, and personalize assignments and conversations. Lamping Elementary has established a partnership with the Public Education Foundation to establish the William McCool Science Center Foundation, a permanent foundation with governance structure and supports for promoting and supporting STEM instruction for students. Frank Lamping Elementary School is a 5 Star School and one of only 62 schools to be recognized as part of the first-ever Superintendent’s Honor Roll.