|Students helping Colby move a round bale.|
We're working with Darrow school, a private high school in New Lebanon. The students have been challenged to recreate one of the most ubiquitous products in America - the McDonald's Happy Meal - from scratch, using only what we can find around us. They have been working with local farmers to help them learn some basic skills like cheese-making or bread-making, and they are trying to grow small pots of produce in various locations on campus. They are also raising chickens right now in the biology classroom - for meat, not eggs - and another farmer is going to help them slaughter and render them for cooking. Another team is working on the packaging - both paper and ink.
Ultimately, the goal of the project is to learn something about how we sustain ourselves - locally, nationally and globally - and to begin to think about whether what we are doing is in fact sustainable. This challenge is the core project in 9th grade history - it was meant to lure the kids into examining essential questions about human geography.
The students are learning project management, how to use social media to advocate for change, research and writing, and self-reflection and evaluation, in addition to content.
For a longer description, you can read this:
Here are some examples of student research:
We've been surprised and excited by how insightful, curious, and thoughtful these students are. We look forward to watching their mistakes and successes (both important!) throughout this project, and can't wait to see what they come up with for a finished project.