Blog: What's special about our middle school?

Below are selected entries from Middle School Insight - our weekly blogs used for communication with our parents.


Middle School Science includes Engineering

In science class, the new school year came in like a wrecking ball as teams of students designed and built Apple Annihilator devices to demolish whiteboard marker bowling pins. While the students had fun with this first engineering challenge, there were important criteria and constraints that they had to consider. Along the way, students reviewed and gained more knowledge of engineering concepts, key experimental vocabulary, and science practices that they will focus on throughout the year. This activity positioned students to *BE* scientists this year, rather than simply learn about scientific facts.

The students ended this in-class project by writing a guided reflection. The sixth graders, our youngest middle schoolers, responded to open-ended reflection questions, while our more-seasoned seventh and eighth graders wrote meaty and insightful essays reflecting on the science concepts they learned. This differentiation in assignments is an example of how all middle school students engage in the same lessons, but the work is scaffolded to meet the younger students' needs.

The Sock Monkeys, a sixth-grade design team, proudly show off their Apple Annihilator.