One hundred fifty eight middle school students, twelve hands-on courses, one week and no grades – it was all about joyful learning at Mounds Park Academy, January 5-9, 2015!
The first middle school innovation-Term (i-Term) was a unique opportunity for students in grades 5-8 to participate in weeklong, project-based courses that allowed them to dive deep into a single subject and experience things that are not possible within a normal school setting.
From “Aerodynamics” to “Animal Science” to “French Immersion in Quebec” to “Entrepreneurship” to “Shakespearean Death Scenes,” students were empowered to select an i-Term course that would either deepen their understanding of a topic or introduce them to something new. Each course took students into the community to work with experts.
“Children are inquisitive by nature, yet this innate curiosity often diminishes during adolescence. The i-Term experience is just one way MPA keeps this spark burning, providing students with unique opportunities to explore, create, and collaborate in low-risk environments,” said Erica Brewinski, Middle School Director.
YuLing Debellis, an eighth-grade student, reflected on her week: “I loved i-Term. It was special because of the small class size, and having a whole week to be able to focus on one thing without homework or the distraction of juggling six classes. It was also a good mental break. I think it is a great example of MPA’s hands-on learning approach. I really learned a lot that week!”