Here is a description of our new unit on waste written by one of the teachers that created the content:
What is waste and why should we care? Home to only 4% of the global population, we (Americans) are responsible for more than 30% of the planet’s total waste generation. Each American discards an average of more than 1,650 pounds of garbage every year, or approximately 4.6 pounds per person each day, nearly double the 1960 average of 2.7 pounds per day. In Jackson, Wyoming, a town of about 10,000 people, we produce nearly 80 million pounds of waste per year, nearly 65% of which gets hauled over 100 miles away to a landfill in another state! How does your community compare? And, for every 1lb of waste you generate (downstream waste) nearly 7lbs of waste were generated to create the stuff you throw away (upstream waste)!
Your task in this unit is to learn about the social, economic and environmental impacts of waste in your community and come up with a solution to help. To help you, you will learn about cause and effect mechanisms in science, great literary figures who effect change in their communities, artists who repurpose trash into treasure, go on a field trip to a recycling and/or waste transfer station and work to design a solution in social studies. You’ll also be exposed to people who have found problems, come up with creative solutions to those problems and made a difference in their communities. In the final stage of this unit, we will ask you to do the same.
In an effort to expand the reach of the mission of Teton Science Schools, we taught students in grade 5 and grade 8 a pilot of an innovative hybrid online curriculum from November 16 - December 18, 2015. This free pilot is part of a larger effort to design an experiential, place-based, online school to better connect students with communities, real-world experiences, and relevant learning.
A Conflict Within: Understanding Civil Wars.
Are conflicts inevitable? We know they are part of human history and based on power struggles, but are they necessary? What can you learn from the wars in your area? Though inquiry and design, 8th grade students will integrate English, Science, Social Studies, and Visual Arts to understand civil wars. Their goal will be to connect to with their community and learn from the wars in their area. Competency based assessments will guide students through the unit at their own pace, supported by an instructor. The unique model consists of both core learning and experiential education all combined to offer a relevant, engaging, and challenging experience for students. Pilot offered at no cost from November 16 to December 18. Participant families must be interested in providing feedback and supporting student learning.
The Melting Pot: A Global Perspective on Community
How has the culture of your community changed? Historically, the United States has experienced waves of different cultural influences. Though inquiry and design, 5th grade students will integrate English, Science, Social Studies, and Visual Arts to understand the cultural influences of their community. Their goal will be to connect with their community to learn about the cultural shifts and historic impacts. Competency based assessments will guide students through the unit, at their own pace, while the instructor facilitates the process. The unique model consists of both core learning and experiential education all combined to offer a relevant, engaging, and challenging experience for students. Pilot offered at no cost from November 16 to December 18. Participant families must be interested in providing feedback and supporting student learning.
This winter, from January to March, we are piloting a very innovative learning experience. This semester students will strive for excellence on certain competencies in the visual arts, English, Social Studies, Math, Spanish, and Coding. The program is based on national standards and rests on six core beliefs:
Students in the program learn to manage their time, interact with professionals, think and connect content areas, and understand how to make change happen in the world. We expect that our graduates are highly functioning, creative, and involved members of their adult communities.
"Your only as good as your record collection." -DJ Spooky