Before they could present their projects on Discovery Day, lower school students at Marburn Academy, a K-12 college preparatory school for dyslexic and ADHD students in Columbus, Ohio, used an inquiry-based approach to gather information on their topics, and then constructed answers to some essential questions.
The Westward Wagons group had to demonstrate the forces that make people move. Their room became a Conestoga wagon train and trail camp; their journal entries helped them explain the reasons for moving and the challenges people experienced.
The Industrial Revolution team, balancing the positive and negative effects of technical progress, had to decide if technology was “friend or foe?” Their hands-on projects compared today’s technologies with steam engines, telephones, the telegraph, assembly lines, and light bulbs.
The Simple Machines group learned to recognize the near-universal presence of such devices today, while appreciating how they make so many things easier in work and play. Their pulley and harness system launched the associate head of school into a dramatic “flying squirrel” experience 20 feet above the gym floor.
Marburn’s Discovery Day activities gave students a chance to publicly demonstrate the learning and thinking they use to develop the “enduring understandings” that give their studies lasting value. Students came away with long-lasting skills that can later be applied when wrestling with tough issues that have genuine significance in today’s world.