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Maine’s Positive Story of the Day ~ Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus in Sullivan ~

The Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus is buzzing with exciting activities and achievements. Last school year we introduced our Tigers to the F.I.R.S.T. robotics competition and I am excited to report that we won 1st and 2nd place at the spring Robotics Track Meet in Brewer. We are fortunate to have Mr. J.P. Kucera at the helm of this program. Mr. Kucera, a former Sumner graduate, himself, and MIT graduate return to Sumner, after working in the Industry/Corporate world, as our Gifted / Innovation Teacher. Our brand new Makerspace just became one of only four recognized in the entire state. Our Tigers have not only constructed a competition practice table with materials donated by Ellsworth Home Depot but are also diligently working on a robot for the upcoming February 3rd competition.

In addition, of note, our Gifted & Talented (GT) program, also under the leadership of Mr. Kucera, is making a significant impact across different grade levels, even expanding into our feeder schools. Our students are engaged in diverse projects such as building and coding EV3 Lego robots, participating in poetry jam sessions, science fairs, reading challenges, and exploring 3D designing. Specifically, our Middle school GT projects are ranging from the 3D design and model build of a 2-cylinder combustion engine to the construction of a remote control Piper Cub airplane using 3D printed parts. Other projects include the study and construction of marionette puppets, building a Raspberry Pi personal computer, writing plays, and even creating a video game with the Unreal Engine.

Our high school students at Sumner are involved in projects with outreach potential beyond the school premises. Collaborating with neighboring Jackson or MDI Labs, digitizing artwork, learning C++ coding to build apps, recreating a medieval lute design using a CNC wood machine in conjunction with Eagle Hill and an artist from France are just a few examples of their endeavors. Importantly, these projects provide students with the opportunity to build on their strengths and explore areas that would typically be outside their comfort zones. The Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus is truly a hub of innovation, creativity, and educational excellence.

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