Middle School Adroit



Amazing Stargate Community,

I am so excited to be the Adroit teacher this year! After teaching in a Hands-on, Minds-on elementary classroom for almost a decade, I am excited to now take it to the next level, ADROIT! The focus in Adroit is developing the Design Thinking mindset within our students and community. Design Thinking is a set of skills that prepares students to solve large, complex, cross-curricular, real world problems by teaching them effective ways of thinking and collaborating.

As we start the school year off fresh, we will be needing materials to be repurposed. A big part of innovation is seeing new ways to use ordinary items, or ways to combine old ideas in a new way. Having lots of cheap objects with many aspects and features makes for much more interesting designs than having things with specific stock functions:expensive wheels, hinges, motors, etc. During the course of the year we will be needing low-resolution materials and other handy items to prototype and bring our ideas to life! Here are some things that you can donate:

Low-Resolution Prototyping Materials:

  • Things that turn/roll (CDs, bottle caps, cardboard tubes, wine corks:), spools…)

  • Things that hold other things (bottles, cups, bins…)

  • Things that bend and hold shape (pipe cleaners, wire…)

  • Things that make beams (popsicle sticks, straws, dowels, paper towel rolls…

  • Things that make walls/surfaces (paper, foam board, cardboard, wood scraps…)

  • Things that bend and pull (string, cord, yarn…)

  • Things that add appearance/texture (cloth, puff balls, stuffing, foil, googly eyes…)

  • Things that conduct electricity (aluminum foil, wires…)

  • Salvaged goods/electronics (take apart and printer and you get motors, gears, wires, axles and so much more….and your kids will love it!

Other Handy Items to have:

   -Duct Tape

-Hot Glue Sticks

-Hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, nails…)

Along with donating materials, you may also donate your time! I know that the people in this wonderful community are going to be our greatest resource of all. Be expecting opportunities to volunteer as we “deep dive” into what experts we need as well as  volunteers to help with the daily grind in the classroom.

If you choose to donate, please be aware that it is much easier to sort through materials in a small setting outside of school compared to a heaping pile inside of our classroom. Please have materials organized in a labeled, manageable order that is ready to be used by your kids. If you have any questions, please email me at keith.varel@stargateschool.org!

Thank you so much!!!!

Keith Varel

6th Grade Adroit Syllabus

7th Grade Adroit Syllabus