This Week in the Life at CELC

Some highlights …

A Shadow of A Hummingbord

Student workshop with artist-in-residence after seeing the world premier performance of Athol Fugard’s A Shadow of A Hummingbird at Long Wharf Theater


computer class

Student-directed class on html and creating a web page with current CELC student, Joshua

Japanese flower art form, Oshibana

Students learn the Japanese flower art form, Oshibana


Krowe's Nest Studio

Woodworking class with Master craftsman, Ken Rowe



From Seeds to Syrup and Lots of Science

State Science Fair Finalist Award Winners from CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) of Branford

Five hundred sixty middle and high school students throughout Connecticut participated in this year’s CT State Science and Engineering Fair held at Quinnipiac University March 11 – 15.  Of these participants, about 150 students became Finalist and Special Award Winners.  This was the first time CELC students entered the state fair, and they did remarkably well!  Five students (out of the seven who entered) from the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center of Branford were among this year’s State Finalists.

CT State Science and Engineering Finalist Awards Winners

Luke  won 1st place from the International Society for Automation and received a certificate and $125.00. Luke also was awarded a medal from United Illuminating and CT Light and Power Company’s EnergizeCT/EEsmarts Alternative/Renewable Energy Award for his magnetic levitation wind-powered vehicle design.

CT State Science and Engineering Finalist Awards Winners

Cole and Jakob were awarded a certificate from the American Meteorological Society and also received a medal from the Conservation and Inlands Wetlands Commission for their design of an electrostatic smog filter. [Read more...]

Success at CELC Science Fair

Creative problem solving was an ongoing theme as CELC students entered this year’s science fair.  The initial development of ideas and coming up with project questions was unique in and of itself.

Science Fair at CELC

To begin, a four-hour workshop was offered to CELC students by the Vice President of the Connecticut Science Fair Association and Director of the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, Frank LaBlanc.   Dr. LaBlanc led students in an interactive program focused on creativity and innovation, problem solving, and communication.  From there, students considered what was important to them and tried to develop project ideas based on their own questions related to real-world problems or issues they felt needed to be solved.


Once underway with project topics, some students then developed experiments to test ideas, while others focused more on engineering and design to create mechanical or technological devices that would serve a particular purpose.  Lots went into this project; weeks of work doing research, recording data, working on what was required to meet deadlines as the fair approached, and then, over the last few days, almost non-stop dedicated effort towards preparing a research report and carefully-constructed project display to showcase their work. [Read more...]

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. Speaks with CELC Students

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. spends time with students of CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC).  They listened intently, captivated by his stories of being in Selma, Alabama as he ran the Voting Rights Campaign; lived within extremely difficult, even life-threatening situations; and how through nonviolence, he worked with others to instigate change.

Dr. LaFayette spoke about how when one devotes oneself to a cause, when one is willing to give up his life to that cause, then no other can ever take that life because it was already freely given.  He asked students to consider what they each could give to the world to make a difference.  Students are pondering this.  Stay tuned for their writings and thoughts …

[Read more...]

Artistic Explorations at Florence Griswold Museum

During a visit to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT students of the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC) worked with museum educator Julie Garvin Riggs to learn about Impressionism, Tonalism, and the fascinating history of this former artists’ colony.  Students toured the current exhibit entitled Harry Holtzman and American Abstraction and then created artwork in the style of this artist.  An inspirational day, tapping into creativity and imagination!

Florence Griswold Museum vist

Florence Griswold Museum vist

Florence Griswold Museum vistFlorence Griswold Museum vist

Geography is Alive and Well at CELC!

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society.  Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC) is host for the local National Geographic Bee for CELC students and all Connecticut homeschoolers in grades 4 – 8.

Friday, 16 January 2014 twelve students took their places on the stage of the auditorium of the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, Connecticut.  All these students had been working to prepare for the day’s event – The National Geographic Geography Bee!

After the seven-question preliminary round to determine which five would advance, there was a tie for the fifth semi-finalist and third-place winner.  The tie-breaking round commenced, followed by a final championship round, which ultimately determined our local 2014 Bee champion!  2014 Geography Bee WinnerConnecticut Experiential Learning Center student Coleman Riegle of Madison is this year’s winner.  [Read more...]