This school year Bellcate staff and students are participating in a collaborative project with Liesl Ulrich Verderber from Clarkson University. Almost three years ago Liesl approached Bellcate School Director, Jesse Bell with a light bulb concept! As a graduate from Harvard with a background in architectural design and economics, Liesl wanted to bring her talents to impact the educational experiences of students. Liesl’s big idea was to create a web platform for teachers and students (grades 6-12) that curate innovative and inspirational videos for students from reputable sources. EWC-ed was born and they pair these videos with activities including thought provoking questions for classroom discussions and opportunities for further inquiry and study. Bellcate Director immediately connected with the project and became enthusiastic about the great relevance of such a resource for Bellcate School. “To me, getting on board with EWC-ed was a no brainer. Liesl’s intelligence and energy was contagious and I recognized how our community could benefit from working with her to fortify our curriculum,” explained Bell. Bell agreed to get involved on the development level as an advisory board member and proceeded to act as a resource to Liesl over the next couple of years.

This fall Bellcate School is offering a EWC-ed course where our students will participate as a focus group for this project. The course is a social studies credit designed to focus on the areas of history, culture and heroes.

Course objectives include:

1. Students will learn how to participate in a focus group to include the development of collaborative skills, giving and receiving feedback, problem solving and preparing written responses.

2. Students will develop a greater global perspective related to history, culture and heroes.

3. Students will develop greater discernment related to quality video selection and web content.

4. Student will be exposed to MLA source citation protocol.

On the first day of the quarter, Liesl and Jesse rolled out EWC-ed to a class of 7 Bellcate students and the response was inspiring. The combination of engaging video content with thoughtful discussion questions paired with a sense of ownership of the process through the focus group model was a pitch perfect balance. Let the learning BEGIN!!