One of the many benefits of a small school is the ability for students to interact across divisions. The latest Innovation Program field trip took advantage of this; at the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) in Ft. Lauderdale, middle and upper school students collaborated with lower school buddies to complete a scavenger hunt throughout the museum.
Among the 25 challenges students sought to complete were activities like discovering which craters on Earth are the oldest, completing a puzzle of a skeleton, and testing balance. After the hour-long hunt, students viewed Hubble 3D in IMAX.
Middle and upper school students had the task of helping the lower schoolers to prioritize and complete the activities. In addition to using their knowledge and wherewithal to assist the little ones, the older buddies gained valuable experience with teaching methods and learning styles for primary students.
Matthew Schner, a junior, observed,”The most interesting thing I learned is how excited kids are to learn about things they encounter in their life such as weather, recycling, the human body, and animals.” This is definite evidence proving the value of our mission to utilize student passions in teaching.
Collaboration across grade levels also promotes empathy and camaraderie amongst the student body. “My favorite moment during the field trip was when my children saw the otters and ran over to see them, pressing their faces against the glass,” said sophomore Katie Berlatsky. “It was gratifying to see how excited they were.”
Above all, students learned how to work together with limitations– limitations of time and attention spans– to complete a task. “My favorite moment was when my group worked together to complete a recycling game,” said junior Eva Oliveri. “It definitely cultivated an atmosphere of teamwork.”
Skills such as these are invaluable to our 21st century learners, who will need a solid background in collaboration and creative problem-solving as they navigate the future.