Year End Projects Showcase Student Learning, Knowledge, and Growth

Students across all three divisions have participated in culminating projects and activities that encompass their learning throughout the school year.
Beyond exams, these engaging assignments reinforce core concepts and demonstrate a thorough understanding of content. Three examples of such work include a sustainability project in Lower School, conservation research and analysis in Middle School, and an exploration of the responsibility of government across a variety of social issues in Upper School.

LOWER SCHOOL: The second grade has taken the Sustainability Hero theme to a whole new level as they wrapped up their year-long look at how they can make positive changes to the environment. During the year, students partnered with a school in Portugal to share information about where they live, and exchange ideas about how to live more sustainably. They spent a morning at Siesta Key Beach cleaning up trash in the playground, picnic, and beach areas. The students visited the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, where they learned about the importance of maintaining a clean environment for marine life in Florida and around the world. Finally, the students created posters reminding people about the hazards of littering and how important it is to keep our environment clean. This week, each student spoke with a local business owner on Siesta Key and asked to have their posters hung in their shops to help spread their message.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: After researching local marine conservation issues in Florida, teams of sixth graders developed an inquiry-based research question to better understand their topic. Topics included the ecological impact of the loss of seagrass, manatee conservation, and the decline of shark populations over the past ten years. Students spent considerable time reading and outlining scientific research papers in both Mrs. Walters' and Ms. Lonsdale's classes, as well as collecting their own data during their fieldwork at Mote Marine Laboratory. Students then created websites in order to display their findings.

The students presented their websites during the Sixth Grade Symposium, talking about the issues they had researched, possible solutions they theorized, and answering questions from attendees. Guests were impressed with the vast amount of information and complex strategies the students developed over the course of this project.

UPPER SCHOOL: Mrs. Stefanie Betz's AP Language and Composition students presented their cumulative projects to an audience of parents, friends, and community members in the Dick Vitale Family Student Center. Students addressed the question "What is a government's responsibility to its citizens?" They took different approaches to the challenge, preparing infographics, photographs, and other materials to accompany the digital presentations that supported their data. A wide variety of topics were covered, including the need for housing in Nepal, education in the Dominican Republic, legislation to help foster children in Florida, equality in healthcare, human trafficking, and gun violence in schools. Attendees were impressed with the visuals used to convey the information as well as the comprehensive knowledge students shared as they visited each booth.

Many other compilation projects have taken place or will be completed next week, including the first grade visiting chickens that they raised from eggs in their classroom and eighth graders putting their physics skills to work designing amusement park rides and 3-D printed boats.

The Out-of-Door Academy

LOWER SCHOOL |  Historic Siesta Key Campus  |  Pre-K – Grade 5
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  |  Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch  |  Grades 6 – 8 |  Grades 9 – 12
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