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Explorations: Middle School Students Discover Their Love of Learning

Explorations is an opportunity for Middle School students to take classes that ignite their curiosity, choose their own adventure, and cultivate friendships with like-minded peers. Explorations is an offering of our Middle School program, providing our students the opportunity to dive deeper into topics they’re already interested in or to discover something new. 

 

Each year, our Middle School teachers create unique offerings that are designed to meet our students’ individual interests. This year, Explorations courses include Programming & Coding, Fiber Arts, Passions Lab, Dance, Journalism, Future Problem Solvers, among others, and offer our Middle School students the opportunity to explore their own personal learning journeys.

 

Teachers Teaching Passions

Why do our Middle School teachers like teaching Explorations classes? These classes give our students the opportunity to explore, to wander, and to discover through new and unique experiences. Things like computer coding can be intimidating to students, but when presented in a non-graded and relaxed environment, the students are more likely to get excited to learn instead of stressing about the outcome. Explorations are also a chance to offer students a fun course that allows them to explore a topic they may not have been exposed to. And the program offers flexibility to our teachers to offer a course beyond academic subjects they typically teach.

 

“I took computer programming classes as part of my Meteorology Major in college and was instantly hooked. I wished it was a skill I had learned earlier on, and I love offering Programming & Coding to our students. I especially want young women to see themselves as coders, and increase the number of women pursuing careers involving programming and coding. In Programming & Coding, students get to see how creative coding is and to see themselves as confident problem solvers!” 

~ Sarah White, Middle School Science Teacher 

 

“I am a knitter, so I love fibers, primarily yarn. Using yarn to spark a creative endeavor and watching students explore how the textures and colors can awaken all of their senses is exciting. Fiber Arts allows the kids to learn a new skill, something creative they can do to disconnect from technology and enrich their lives.” 

~ Cynthia Hori, Middle School Science Teacher

 

Future Problem Solvers is a course designed to empower Middle School students with the tools and practice to creatively solve problems. Through purposeful observation and data collection, students identify problems and endeavor to understand their complexities. The goal is for students to realize that even at their age they have the ability to be agents of positive change in the world.”  

~ Paul Chung, Middle School Math Teacher 

 

Learning for the Sake of Learning 

In addition to encouraging curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, experimentation, dialogue, independence, and teamwork, Explorations also incorporates our core values. Students leave Fiber Arts with the skills to make knit hats for those in need as they embrace the value of Tzedkah. They learn skills in Programming & Coding and in Future Problems Solvers which give them the skills to repair the world (Tikkun Olam).  

 

Explorations also sparks Limud L’shma (Learning for the Sake of Learning) and empowers our students to discover their interests, opinions, passions, and voice -- and ultimately instills in them a love of learning.