Around the Campus School

April 3, 2015

6TH GRADERS DESIGN HOUSES USING AUTOCAD AT SMITH’S ENGINEERING LAB:  Group O worked with Professor Susan Voss and Smith’s engineering department to design, sketch, and then transfer their blueprints to AutoCAD, which is the industry-standard software used by architects and engineers to produce 2D and 3D designs. “We started by thinking about the math of a building,” said one of the sixth grade students. “We thought about angles and shapes and then sketched our houses, translated our design onto graph paper where we had to figure out about proportion, and then used the AutoCad program.” Once students created the AutoCad files, the designs were printed using a special laser printer that cuts shapes for 3-D models. Our sixth graders then assembled the models. “I felt like an architect! It’s cool to figure out how all the pieces fit together.”

CAD - Blueprints CAD laser printing
CAD Constructing modelsCAD Assembling Models

March 11, 2015

Film Festival: French Fancy Ladies

SCCS STUDENT DIRECTED FILM FESTIVAL: We screened twelve films written and produced by SCSS 5th and 6th graders. The films included short comedies, stop animation productions, and claymations. Our students learn the basic principles of filmmaking, but they work in teams outside of school on their productions. Mary Ann Dassatti, our technology teacher coordinates the process and provides technical and aesthetic support. Filmmaking is high art: students learn to compose a story, write a script, assemble a storyboard, and then make the aesthetic choices that comprise a film: sound, pacing, blocking, and more.

Film festival puppets

February 20, 2015

Art weaves inspired by Stella

INSPIRED BY FRANK STELLA: Our first graders have been working on weaving with yarn. They have learned how to use circular looms and considered the aesthetic and pragmatic properties of woven fabric. They then asked the question: What happens if we try and weave with painted lines? It’s a question that the abstract artist Frank Stella contended with in his efforts to make the elements of a two-dimensional painting come to life in sculpture. Mr. Hepner and his first-grade artists demonstrate their version of this work of art and math on bulletin boards around SCCS.

February 6, 2015

Instrumental concert

MUSIC IS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Music echoes through Gill Hall on Wednesday mornings at SCCS. We offer instrumental music classes and our students learn to play violins, cellos, trumpets, clarinets, and flutes. Learning an instrument teaches so many important lessons: self discipline, expanded perception, and the value of practice. Playing in an orchestra or a medley group teaches one what it means to work with others towards a systematic goal and one experiences how the contributions of the many enhances the whole. Enjoy these snippets of our Winter Instrumental Music Assembly at John M. Greene Hall on the Smith Campus.


January 31, 2015


Araboolies Opera

The Campus School chorus and the Smith College Music department collaborated on staging the opera “Araboolies on Liberty Street” that was also composed by Smith professor Ron Perera. Our 55 SCCS chorus students performed alongside the actors and singers, who were Smith students.They performed the opera for the school on Friday, January 30th. The rest of the school studied the opera in music class and participated in the performance by making a wonderous collection of hats.

On Saturday, January 31st there was a public performance at Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College. THE ARABOOLIES OF LIBERTY STREET is a one act children's opera based on the book by Sam Swope, with libretto by Constance Congdon and music by Ronald Perera. The opera was commissioned in 2000 by the Manhattan School of Music's Education and Outreach Department for use in its partnership with New York City Public Schools.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKmHBTvL8Ks

December 3, 2014

First grade Insect Study

INSECTS AS ENGINEERS: Our first graders are studying how insect adaptations solve problems within the environment. Insects must build colonies, cut leaves, haul materials, and defend themselves from predators. Our budding scientists study how insect bodies resemble the meshing parts of simple machines in order to fly like mosquitos, zip across water like a water strider, tunnel like ants, and cut, carry and chew vegetation. In addition, they are studying the insect drawings of the German artist Maria Sybell Merian and then studying insects and creating their own sketches.  In learning about Merian’s work they also learn about her contribution to etymology, which entailed disproving a long-standing belief that insects reproduced by spontaneous generation from decaying matter. Her careful observation skills and aesthetic prowess led to a powerful scientific understanding.

November 21, 2014

Theater Explorations

AFTER SCHOOL DRAMA, IMAGINATION & STORY TELLING: Students enrolled in SCCS’s newly expanded after school program participated in a theater arts program. They wrote their own plays, designed costumes, assembled props, and then performed a short piece. The prompt for this small-group experience: The Road Not Taken: Imagine that you’ve come to a fork in the road. Which way should you go? You choose a direction, confident in your path. What about the road you did not choose? Your challenge is to create a play that features two original stories— they begin the same way, but the split along the way and have different endings. Cindy Naughton and Jenny Sturley, a Smith student,  led this activity, which is adapted from an organization called Destination Imagination http://www.destinationimagination.org/. Jennifer will be teaching a session in our spring after school program. The directions included this bit of wisdom: the most important goals are to be creative and work together! 

November 18, 2014

First Engineering
DESIGNING A CRAFT TO LAND ON THE MOON— FIRST GRADE STYLE: Gina Cowley’s first graders partnered with Anjali Desai— a Smith College engineering student on a project simulating how to land NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The project started by watching video footage of the LRO trying to land in a moon crater. With a context in mind, the project focused on the math and science needed to guide a craft to a target. Hands on part included guiding a paper cup attached to a zip line to a target and using marbles to vary the weight of the cup on its way to reaching the target. The "minds on” element involved working with Newton’s First Law— as the cup travels down the zip line, the marble builds forward speed until a force acts on it— such as hitting the ground. Other ideas that come into play: acceleration, trajectory, energy transformation from potential to kinetic. All that learning— and more than that— it was FUN! And, most importantly, they learned the motto of the Smith engineers: “Fail often so that you can succeed.” That was the best part!

November 13, 2014

Potental Smith Students tour the school
PROSPECTIVE SMITH COLLEGE STUDENTS TOURING THE CAMPUS SCHOOL: Twenty prospective Smith students who aspire to study education and child development visited the Campus School on Tuesday as part of Smith’s Fall Preview Day. They toured classrooms, spoke to teachers, and our education and child study faculty. Upon leaving, one dad of a high school junior said, “Wow, this would be a special place to learn to teach!”

November 11, 2014

Fifth Grade Falconry
Our 5th graders meet a peregrine falcon as part of a presentation and demonstration on the art and magic of medieval falconry. You can see them craning forward in anticipation of meeting the fastest animal in the world. Falconry fits into their investigation of the historical forces that shaped medieval life. My favorite moment was hearing about how for medieval lords, owning a peregrine falcon was a signal of high-born status.

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News & Notices:

Announcing Chris Marblo- SCCS welcomes our new interim prinicipal, Chris Marblo. Read more here

Admission News- Join us for our Fall K-3 Open House on November 4th! Click here for more information. We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. To request an Admission Packet - click here

SCCS on Facebook -We invite you to visit the SCCS Facebook page. You will find snippets of the art, story, and conversation that unfolds within our school. For a link to our Facebook page - click here


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