Hands-on Science

Amy Bradley 5490b4a9c5210

By DAPHNE CHEN

LENOIR, N.C.—Stacked to the roof with aquatic robots, DUI goggles and pig lungs, the curriculum room at Patterson Science Center is where “science” happens.It’s here that director Amy Bradley and her staff invent the lessons that have brought 25,000 students to the center since it opened in 2012 and made it a stunning success.

“I think it’s hands-on science,” Bradley said. “And we incorporate engineering into everything we do, so I really think it engaged the students in learning and they took an interest and they look forward to coming here.”

The center was the vision of Superintendent Steve Stone, who wanted to enhance STEAM education — the ‘A’ stands for ‘agriculture’ in this case — in Caldwell County schools.

“The industries in Caldwell County are changing,” Stone said. “They tell us we need more kids in robotics, more kids in tech.”

The PSC campus, nestled in the foothills of Yadkin Valley, once housed a boarding school. But it closed in 2009, after years of dwindling interest.

“We’re sitting on 1,400 acres of pristine land, so the school board wanted to create a unique opportunity for our kids, something that’s uniquely ours,” Stone said.

He hired Bradley, a former Hibriten High School science teacher with three master’s degrees and a knack for writing grants, to lead the center.

Bradley envisioned it as a place where students could learn about science, nature and technology in a hands-on environment, and where creativity and science were integrated, rather than at odds.

“We wanted it to be more than just a field trip,” Bradley said.

But she also wanted to make sure lessons were aligned with state and federal science standards.

So, first she wrote curriculum.

Then, she wrote grants.

Now, with the center now halfway through its third year, Bradley has written 33 lesson modules for grades K-12, raised almost a million dollars in grants and runs a top-notch STEM learning center that is drawing students from every neighboring district.

With a full-time staff of three — plus volunteers — the center runs class visits, community outreach events and summer camps throughout the year.

Students have learned how to build water bottle rockets, program robots to escape a labyrinth, conduct forensic investigations, and even get a certification in organic farming and sustainability. They stargaze at night with lecturers from UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and attend classes on 3D printing, receiving free Raspberry Pi microcomputers.

The ability to see science hands-on is what amazed Early College junior Hannah Smart, who attended the Science Expo on Dec. 10.

“We’re creating a Rube Goldberg machine, so our goal is to safely transfer an egg by whatever means into this cup,” Smart said, showing off an egg perched perilously above her head, and pointing to the sling they had built for it on the floor (made out of pipe cleaners).

“I love doing this, working with all of my classmates,” Smart said.

Bradley estimates 95 percent of the center is funded through grants and private donations. Among these are a $37,000 grant awarded by Google and a $500,000 federal Math-Science Partnership grant.

“We want the students to like science and have fun and want to be scientists when they grow up, so I don’t want them to be hindered by the cost,” Bradley said.

And the hard work Bradley and her team put into the center is beginning to pay off.

Last year, they concentrated on fifth- and eighth-graders, bringing 14 classrooms to the center 5-6 times throughout the school year.

By the end of the year, their test scores increased by 20 to 40 points.

“We are proud. We’re really excited,” Bradley said. “That gave us a boost in the clientele.”

Bradley hopes to add more programming for high school students. And she and Stone are looking at taking over the old dormitory building on the campus, which will give them the ability to plan overnight trips and professional development events.

Until then, she’s happy knowing she’s working her “dream job.”

“The most rewarding part is that you see kids smile every day and have that ‘aha’ moment,” Bradley said. “Then, you encounter them in the grocery store or Walmart and they come up to you and hug you and say, ‘I can’t wait to come back to Patterson Science Center!’”

PEC Parelli Play Day

Check our Facebook Events page for information about the upcoming Parelli Play Day on Saturday November 22. Free to come watch!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patterson-Equestrian-Center-and-Riding-Club/699303436829132?ref=hl

Challenges: Can You touch it, circle it, move it etc.? Will your horse go over, around, up on, under….It’s all about the relationship.
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PEC Open House and Horse Show

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Thanks, everyone, for coming out to the Open House on Saturday!  We enjoyed fellowship with all of our new friends!  Unfortunately, the weather dictated that we postpone the Horse Show  until Sunday, which offered a much more favorable temperature.

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PEC would like to thank the following people for helping to make Horse Show a success: Angela Annas (judging), Kay Driver (announcing), Sherrie Hodge (registration), Steve Driver (serving refreshments). For setting up and cleaning up and doing any number of chores throughout the day, all of the above and: Austen Burdette, Troy Smart, Rascal Annas, Don Garvey. Thanks to everyone who came out to watch and to ask questions and to support us. And thanks to Kristin Kirby for creating our first Natural Horsemanship Show!

Patterson School Foundation Board Members would also like to thank all the other volunteers (in addition to those who have already been mentioned) who went above and beyond the call of duty, to help make the Open House and Horse Show a success for Patterson Equestrian Center and Riding Club: Chad Gibson, Jack Hubbert, David Sciabarasi, Bryan Elliot, Angie Annas, Jerry Foster, and all the 4-Hers and their wonderfully supportive parents. We would also like to thank Evelyn and Kristin for their coordination, leadership and hard work!

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4-H Club Caldwell County Fair Theme

Barn renovation for 4H projectPatterson Equestrian Center will be featured in a Caldwell County Fair Booth by one of our local 4-H Club groups, Giddy On Up. The theme of this year’s Caldwell County Fair is “Growing Greatness in Caldwell County”. The Giddy On Up Group, led by Evelyn Garvey and Sherry Hodge,  will feature the re-emergence of the Patterson Equestrian Center, and they have worked countless hours to help renovate this historic Caldwell County treasure! Their booth has won a blue ribbon for their past 4 years at the fair. Please go by to take a look at their booth, and thank them for their hard work, and support of Patterson Equestrian Center.

Horse Show announcing Equestrian Center and Riding Club Opening

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PATTERSON SCHOOL FOUNDATION BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO

EQUESTRIAN CENTER

Patterson School Foundation will reintroduce the Patterson Equestrian Center to Happy Valley by hosting its first Open Horse Show on Saturday November 1st from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The event offers an opportunity for riders of all ages, 5 years through adult, and all skill levels to participate in traditional and non-traditional games.  Additionally, it will showcase some of the exciting, emerging programs and services available including boarding, hiking and riding clubs.

The Patterson Equestrian Center provides a picturesque setting for riders and is the first physical, agricultural manifestation of the Patterson School Foundation’s vision for renewal and abundance on the beautiful and historic, 1400-acre campus.   Participants, sponsors, vendors and volunteers are welcome and will come together for this inaugural event.

Contact:  Evelyn Garvey
Tel:      828-493-4089
Email:    skgarvey@charter.net

www.PattersonSchoolFoundation.org
(click on the Equestrian link for class list, entry form, and information.)

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“There is life at Patterson again, positive, restorative, regenerative energy, that is reclaiming the past and passionately pursuing its’ future potential,” said Board Chair Kitty Rosati, “Our sights are set on being a gift to the community, an educational and healing center for fun, friendship and food!”

 

The former Patterson School, now Patterson School Foundation is nestled in Happy Valley, 9 miles north of Lenoir and 20 miles south of Boone and Blowing Rock.  Resting on the former Palmyra Plantation once belonging to Samuel Legerwood Patterson, it was established as an agricultural school for boys in 1909, later becoming a coed, college prep school for 100 years.

 

For more information or to schedule an interview with Board Chair Kitty Rosati, please call her directly at 919-971-1348 or email at rosekit@aol.com.

 

 

           

 

 

Christmas Social/Surprise Birthday Party

Given by Patterson School Foundation on The Patterson School Campus,  in Hickory Hall Dining Room, at 5:30 pm, on Dec. 12, Campus tenants, old friends, & family gathered for  a pot-luck Christmas Dinner to surprise Jim Hogan on his 82nd birthday. The Dining Hall was decorated with a Christmas tree, colorful holiday table linens, a Nativity, and a special berry & greenery centerpiece by Liza Plaster.

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Jim Hogan and Family
Janet Spoon, Kitty Rosati

Jim & Janet with cake, Liza's arrangement & Janet Wilson in background

Jim Hogan and Janet Spoon

The PSF Board presented Jim with a special framed print of the School’s old dinner bell, more recently known as “The Victory Bell.”  A brass inscription was attached:

“In loving honor of Jim Hogan In cherished memory of Marie Hogan For 30 years of service, faith and leadership 1983 – 2013 Countless lives touched for good & for Christ Well done, thou good & faithful servants”

Alex Bernhardt & Jim

Alex Bernhardt and Jim Hogan

Jim joined The Patterson School Board of Trustees in 1983, thus beginning his and his wife Marie’s service to the School.  When the Episcopal Church decided to close and sell the School at auction in 1994, the Hogans, other locals, & Betty Patterson Medlin (Great Niece of Samuel L. Patterson) & her husband George, committed to saving the property and legacy for our community’s future generations.  The group was legally advised to establish Patterson School Foundation, Inc. for the purpose of purchasing and protecting the property.  The Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization committed to preserving the Campus for educational, agricultural, and historic purposes.

The School reopened in 1995 and continued to operate through May 2009, the School’s Centennial year.  We are grateful that Jim has recently been able to enjoy a renewal of agricultural activities and educational ventures on this treasured property.

A descendant of  General William Lenoir, Jim was born in the house where he still lives, He spent many years operating his father’s business, Appalachian Outdoor Advertising before selling the business to Lamar.  He continues to own & operate Joyceton Waterworks in Whitnel.  He also continues to be the primary manager and caretaker for The Patterson School Campus, now the location of Patterson Science Center, Patterson Reborn Community Church, and Moravian Prep.

In the 1990s, the School established an annual award known as “The Jim Hogan Dedication Award.”  It was well-named, and recipients had to show great love for the Campus through hard and steady work.

His children are James Hogan and wife Janis of Lenoir, and John Hogan and wife Margaret of Raleigh, NC.  His grandsons are Clay and Paul Hogan of Lenoir, and his granddaughters are Cameron and Parker Hogan of Raleigh.

Jim is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir, and a graduate of Davidson College and McCallie School.  He was born on December 12, 1931, in Lenoir, NC.

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