Welcome to the VITA Learning Lab

Welcome to the VITA Learning Lab

VITA—Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts—Learning Lab opened this fall. Every second through fifth grader in Vancouver Public Schools will take an extended multiday field trip to the Learning Lab to participate in hands-on learning while exploring the past, present and future of the local area. This unique experience encourages students to explore their interests through solving real world problems.

Planning your visit

What is the VITA Learning Lab?

What to expect

Inquiry is at the heart of teaching and learning at VITA!

Inquiry is infused into all parts of our curriculum—from science to social studies, literacy, arts, technology and math. 

Our inquiry process

  • Builds on student interest and curiosity with teachers encouraging students’ ideas and questions
  • Promotes 21st century skills: Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication
  • Engages students in investigating real world questions and problems
  • Helps students develop the habits of lifelong learning
  • Guides inquiry with in-depth instructional planning and assessment. Teachers start by establishing clear learning goals aligned with state and national standards — such as the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, C3 Social Studies Framework and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

Our educators will create a rich learning environment that incorporates relevant resources and materials. They will continuously evaluate their instruction and student work, and use this information to ensure learning goals are met.                                          

Our essential question:

How can we help friends get to know our community?

Students will work together to create a newcomer’s guide to important places in the neighborhood, around the school and community.

Consider the past

Fourth graders will serve as historians and explore the past.

Students will create a guide to the neighborhood going back in time. They will explore how natural and manmade barriers affected the settlers at Fort Vancouver and in the area. Washington state curriculum—Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty—will guide students through the traditions and histories of our local tribes.

Consider the present

Second and third graders will explore present day.

Students will take walking field trips to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Historic Reserve. They will observe these areas noting what they see, hear, smell and feel. Using this information, the students will work together to create newcomers’ guides representing the present day of these areas.

Consider the future

Fifth graders will serve as visionary innovators,  imagining what the future might look like.

On a walk down Fort Vancouver Way, students will observe natural barriers such as Mt. Hood and manmade barriers such as buildings, fences, bridges and highways.  They will observe how these barriers affect everyday life today and consider how these barriers and others might affect the future. Students will create a newcomers guide with the perspective of the future.

Project-based learning

1.

Build knowledge

In this stage, students:

  • identify key ideas and process new information
  • dig deeper into ideas by identifying what’s important and meaningful
  • collaborate as a dynamic team and participate in conversations
  • create evidence to support their ideas

2.

Develop & critique

In this stage, students:

  • build discussion on paper
  • receive feedback from peers and other student teams
  • examine how their thinking has changed or shifted over time

3.

Present

In this final stage, students will:

  • present their ideas in a final project

VITA is built on partnerships with these organizations

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