School Spotlight: Weaver Lake Elementary
Weaver Lake Elementary: Science, Math and Technology, is a national award-winning magnet school. Teachers and staff pride themselves in giving students the tools they need to succeed.

Principal Dennis Palm says there's one common principle everything centers around: What's the Big Idea?

"So inquire, discover, explore and achieve," Palm says.

Students are encouraged to get hands-on experience. On the day of our CCX visit, fourth graders used their Ipads to compare computer power versus brain power. Students are trying to determine how long it will take range of motion to travel from the shoulder to the head and then the ankle to head.

"For some reason I thought the ankle was gonna be faster, but then the shoulder was faster because it was closer to our brain," explained student Elena Arroyo.

Children get the same basic rigorous courses as everyone in the Osseo District, the only difference is at Weaver Lake, everything they do has a science and technology component to it.

"Do we think all these children are going to grow up to be scientist and engineers?  asked science teacher Carole Fisher. "Probably not!  The biggest goal of our school is to teach children the joy of learning."

Students also engage in what's known as value-added stem projects. This is where students investigate and explore the world around them. And students are not only practicing science, they are living it. Weaver Lake has an innovative recycling program.

The school received a $12,000 grant from Hennepin County to buy a sorting table for the lunch room.
The table allows students to throw away waste using color-coded bins: red is for trash, blue is for milk cartons and other plastic containers and green is for organics. Since the program started, officials have seen a huge reduction in waste.

"What we've done is reduced our waste by like 80 percent which is awesome," said principal Dennis Palm. "So, I think about before, the amount of garbage we were throwing into landfills and today because we're recycling, we're composting, we're throwing that much less waste away."

Teachers and staff say if they can get students to love learning, they've done their jobs.

Weaver Lake is a member of the Northwest Suburban Integration School District magnet school program.

Sonya Goins, reporting

December 26, 2017


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