Rural School Finds Creative Ways to Promote Hands-On Learning

December 22, 2021 | Education | Brendy Lindsay

Enterprise Christian School in Enterprise, Oregon, a small school in a rural area, stepped outside the box this school year. Using donations specifically for technology, the school stretched funds as far as possible to enhance its Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program.

Giving specific focus to engineering, the school purchased a 3D printer, a laser CNC machine, a Circuit Maker and an electronic cutting machine that can cut all sorts of designs from materials like paper, vinyl and card stock.

The new equipment will give the students experiences they had never dreamed possible in a small school. Jordan Lindsay, fifth through eighth grade teacher, has plans for his students to design and create real-life objects that serve a useful purpose. They could be chess pawns, gears or model airplanes. The possibilities are only limited by the students’ imaginations. Students in Lindsay’s classroom will also identify real-life problems, then design solutions to solve those problems.

In addition to the improved STEM program, Dona Dunbar, principal and kindergarten through fourth grade teacher, along with loving church members, spent time in the summer months preparing a garden space for the school. Students will soon begin construction on a greenhouse, giving them a chance to learn about microgreens, seed starting and winter gardening. The produce grown in the garden and greenhouse will be given to the school families, church members and the community.

The school improvements will not only help students to gain new skills, they will also help the school be a shining light and witness to the Enterprise community.