Academic Enrichment Grant 2017-2018 Project Summary
Sister Sarah Heger
Marian Middle School • Saint Louis, MO
Quest is a weekly workshop that allows students to identify and solve real-world problems by encouraging hands-on, student-driven learning. Marian Middle School’s Academic Program challenges students to learn and apply traditional academic knowledge so they can develop critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and life skills. Marian’s curriculum is designed to meet each student at her level and to take into account her strengths and challenges. As a result, students who often enter performing two or more years below grade level leave Marian on or above grade level, prepared to succeed in high-performing high schools. Quest incorporates lessons learned in core classes (math, science, language arts, and social studies) and other classes, such as STEM lab and robotics. This project provides educational programming supporting students with rotating and cutting edge learning opportunities that advance their knowledge and confidence.
The previous school year, 2016-2017, all Quest projects were focused on the topic of sustainability – sustainability in the school, in their homes, in the larger community, and across the globe. Examples of Quest projects include: designing dispensers for dog waste bags and making them available in the neighborhood surrounding the school, building raised beds for gardening, building a beehive, refurbishing old furniture to be donated to recent immigrants to St. Louis, and upcycling old clothes into accessories using sewing machines. Students have also been applying math and science skills and using empathy to create solutions to real-world problems they see around them every day. Each year the Quest topic will change, but the focus of the class will remain the same: to give students the opportunity to work in groups to solve everyday problems.
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