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Falcon Middle School Firebirds Find New Skills with Mini Courses

Sometimes to be a good student, one needs to stretch their mind. That’s exactly what took place at Falcon Middle School, Thurs., Nov. 16, when the school hosted their sixth annual mini course day. A mini course is a one-day class designed for students to try something new and different. Mini courses were planned for Fri., Nov. 17 also.

Boy explores photography during mini course day at Falcon Middle School Thurs., Nov. 16.

“Mini courses are an introduction to 49 Pathways,” stated Brian Smith, executive principal, Falcon Middle School, Firebird Nation Campus. “Students get to explore and investigate interests based on skills, and individual career and academic plan (ICAP) discoveries.”


Firebirds in all grades could choose from more than 50 class options ranging from cooking to self-defense to Harry Potter art and films to indoor skydiving. Many courses were offered to students at no charge, while others had a small fee. Most sessions occurred in FMS classrooms, but some sent students on field trips.


“I’m going ziplining,” shared Chris Hawkins, 13, eighth grader. “It’s my first time, and I’m nervous, but this will help me learn to deal with fear.”


On the opposite end of the school, students were designing board games. “It was interesting how I thought about this in my brain,” stated Luke Gull, 11, sixth grader. “Then I got to make it visual.” After creating the board games, students tested their work and played them together.


Down the hallway, FMS Firebirds learned how to stand in military formations from Falcon High School ROTC cadets. “I hope to inspire students so when they get to high school, they may join ROTC,” said Wesley Hines, 17, senior and third-year cadet. “ROTC has made me a better person.”


Tim Scheck, gateway to technology teacher, captivated with flying drones in his flight school course. “I am helping kids understand how drone technology and dynamics work,” Scheck stated. Prior to flying their drones, students assembled and decorated their flying devices.


With the holidays nearby, Kathy Hancock, English teacher, and Shannon Telljohn, social studies teacher, led a course together on holiday card and gift making. “It’s nice that this day provides us with a chance to get to know the kids on a personal level,” Telljohn shared. In the arts course, students learned how to dry emboss and about paper piecing.


For Amber Hollingsworth, 13, seventh grader, the day provided a picture of what a new hobby or career might be like. “Photography is always something I’ve wanted to do,” Hollingsworth said. FMS mini course day delivered that opportunity.

Boy puts finishing touches on his drone during the flight school session of mini course day at FMS Thurs., Nov. 16.  . Girls mix up their sweet confection during “Cake Boss” TV show-inspired session at mini course day at FMS Thurs., Nov. 16.  . Girl paints picture of Hogwartz Castle during Harry Potter art and films session of mini course day at FMS Thurs., Nov. 16.  

Amy Matisek
719-495-1149, ext. 2136