Students learn by creating gingerbread village

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Fortville Elementary School fourth-graders crossed curricular lines with the Gingerbread Town of Fortville project. This is the school’s second year participating in the nationwide project, which tasks students with learning about what makes their community thrive and then creating gingerbread replicas of those businesses or organizations.

Students used a 3-D printer to create a tiny mailbox for their gingerbread town. (Submitted photo)

“This is a global STEM project, so it’s classrooms all over the world who you can connect with to do this project,” FES fourth-grade teacher Lydgia Palmer said.

The project began in October when the classrooms identified important businesses in the Fortville community.

“The fun part is to create their business as a gingerbread house, and that part we decorated after Thanksgiving,” Palmer said. “The next element was we worked with our STEM teacher. One of our science standards is to create working circuits, so we added different lights in the gingerbread town.”

Students also worked with FES’s technology coordinator to use the 3-D printer to create tiny lamp posts and a mailbox for the gingerbread town.

“One of the neat things about this program, I think, is there are so many cross curricular standards covered in this project,” Mt. Vernon Community Schools Community Relations Director Maria Bond said.

The gingerbread town is on display at FES, 8414 N. 200 W., through Dec. 18. A poster of the town is on display at the town library, 625 E. Broadway St.

The businesses included in the town were invited to the school to see the display.

“We had a really good turnout from the community and the kids could meet them and show them their building,” Palmer said. “It was really valuable for those business owners. The kids obviously felt awesome meeting them. Some of these adults really care about what we did, but it also was very valuable for adults to connect with the school. It’s definitely about building community and seeing what’s important in our community.”
The final piece of the project will be completed this week when the classrooms Skype with other schools across the nation to learn about those towns and what makes their communities thrive in a different way than Fortville.

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