At the beginning of 2018, Middle and Upper School teachers were presented with an exciting professional development opportunity. WIS had recently been awarded a grant by the E. E. Ford Foundation to start a maker-centered learning project on the Tregaron campus. The group of teachers who chose to participate would work with Project Zero principal investigator Edward Clapp, as well as project coordinator Sarah Sheya, to infuse maker-centered approaches to teaching and learning across the curriculum.

How often have you ordered something online and wished that you could do more with the box it was shipped in, other than just recycle it? With the uptick of online shopping over the last decade, more and more cardboard is being used (and hopefully recycled) each year. But what if it could be repurposed?

Luckily, students in Grades 3-5 had the opportunity to do just that!

On Monday, October 22, the entire Upper School engaged in a half day of programming to learn more about Carl Lutz, a Swiss diplomat who is credited with saving over 60,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II. While this rescue operation is certainly one of the largest recorded, few people know about Carl Lutz and his legacy.

The Grade 7 Science classes begin their year by studying one of the most important building blocks of life: water. They learn about all the different properties of water, its molecular structure, and how it doesn’t follow the rules of many other chemical compounds, because its solid form is less dense than its liquid form (which is the reason ice floats in water). As they begin studying the water cycle, they are introduced to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This estuary is the source of most of the area’s drinking water, so the students begin to see that anything that happens in the Bay can directly affect them.

For the last month, our Grade 3 students have been busy little entrepreneurs, working in groups to start a business, deciding what to create, advertising their products, and ultimately selling those creations at the International Marketplace on October 1!

One of the core components of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Course, which provides “an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.” Students investigate the many “ways of knowing,” such as reason, emotion, intuition, or sense perception (what we see in the world), and they think about how those different ways of knowing interact together to help them make decisions about what they think they know, and also the certainty about how much they know.

Confused yet? Read on to learn more...