PBL, Tech, and Leadership: SCCAOR Pumpkin Auction 2015

The Santa Clara County Association of Realtor’s Annual Pumpkin Auction, led by Dave Walsh of Alain Pinel, is a simple concept. Our school decorates pumpkins and they are auctioned to the highest bidder to Realtors and affiliates at an October SCCOAR meeting. That’s the way it has gone for over ten years.

Over 40 pumpkins are decorated and auctioned.

Elaborately decorated pumpkins are held in the air one by one as members call the highest bid.  Sometimes bought as a gift to a client or family member and sometimes for decoration for the home office, the pumpkins are sold for generous amounts.  And this year, set a record.

The SCCAOR team

On November 18, a team from Katherine Smith were invited back to the SCCAOR event to receive the contribution.  Three sixth graders were asked to present how SCCOAR’s partnership has helped our school and what K. Smith student’s value most.  Jacklynn, Joshua, and Tatiana,  spoke to the SCCOAR audience and shared how SCCOAR’s support has helped our school.  Here is their speech:

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Tatiana, Joshua, and Jaclyn speaking at the Nov. 18 event.

Project Based Learning

Hello, my name is Jacklynn. I am a 6th grader at Katherine Smith Elementary School. I am going to Stanford University in the year 2025, when I grow up I want to be a chemist. One thing I love about our school is PBL. PBL stands for Project Based Learning.  Through PBL, we can have a very unique learning experience.  We mainly lean through projects.  We work in teams, and we get to collaborate with new people.  We also have very encouraging teachers that tech us about our topic.

The process of PBL is very organized. First, we have driving questions. A driving question is a question that leads us through PBL. Next, we have “Needs to Know,” simple questions that we need to get answered by the end of our project.  After, we study, research, and learn more about out project. Then something amazing happens, our projects starts to form.  My favorite project was the cancer project.  We made a cardboard arcade to raise money for cancer patients. Last, we have an exhibition, a day where we jet to show off our project.  Now, you are going to hear something about technology from Joshua.


Thanks, Jacklynn. Hello, my name is Joshua and I am a K. Smith student. I am graduating from Colorado University in the year 2025. I am thinking about becoming a computer software engineer. I just want to say that for the first three years I went to K. Smith, which was kinder through second grade, there was no technology. You have really helped our school by giving us the money to change that. Before, we had to write on paper for everything. Then, Mr. Brengard came and changed that. Now we have iPads, MacBook Pros, Smart Boards, and Google Chromebooks. You helped our school get some money to buy every upper grader at K. Smith a Chromebook.

I remember a project I did in fourth grade. I researched a lot with MacBooks. I had to research the Gold Rush in 1849. Without technology, I can’t imagine how we could’ve made a video game. We would probably not have done a project like that and would learn only from books and then take quizzes. For that project, I had to research what the voyage was like for the gold diggers on the sea route so that I could code the video game I made with some help. I prefer using technology to learn because it’s more fun and I get to be creative. Having technology has made a positive impact on our school. Thank you so much for your support! Next you are going to hear a little something about leadership.


Hello, my name is Tatiana. I’m graduating in the year of 2025 from Stanford University. When I grow up I will want to become a computer software engineer. At Katherine Smith there are many important things but something that I think is important to me is the leadership opportunities.

First, we have a club called the Geniuses. These Geniuses help there own teacher once a week to help with any technology problems. If we learn something new at our meeting that have on Tuesdays we also need to fix our teacher’s technology. When there are meetings for teachers we help them out with things that they are barely learning and that we already know.

Another, program that our school has is Leaders 4 Success.The Leaders 4 Success help out our school create a positive culture. We organize games to play with the lower graders at recess. They help out with the game room they created so when kids don’t want to play outside at recess they can play board games and any other indoor games. On our Morning Panther Pride they teach all the grade levels to not bully and to be nice, friendly, and to make good choices. For two months they have been working on teaching kids to have good sportsmanship and to make friends.

Lastly but not least, we have the Ambassadors. This club was a choice that Mr.Brengard made so instead of him leading school tours he has children show adults about our school and how we learn. Over 1,000 visitors have come to our school in the last 2 years. For example, students and adults came all the way from Beijing, China to see the way we learn. It was an amazing experience to have kids from China in our classrooms and teaching adults from China about our PBL learning.

I’m very glad to share with you all of the kinds of leadership opportunities we have at our school because it’s important that we focus on our 6 habits of mind. The K. Smith Habits we work on for leadership is contribute because this is one of the habits of mind that is important to get us ready for the real world.

Thank you for contributing and helping out our school. We appreciate it!

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The donation will support campus upgrades, technology improvements, and enhance student project.

This year’s Santa Clara County Association of Realtor’s Pumpkin Auction raised a record amount – $18,172– the highest ever in the sixteen year partnership.


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