Discovery showcases student projects

Most parents of school-age children are well aware that the education process has changed considerably since the days they were in school.

Suzie Larson and her son Aidan and daughter Lydia check out how an experiment of the role temperature plays in how fast minnows burn sugar, during the Discovery Middle School Academic Open House Feb. 19. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Suzie Larson and her son Aidan and daughter Lydia check out how an experiment of the role temperature plays in how fast minnows burn sugar, during the Discovery Middle School Academic Open House Feb. 19. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Science teacher Mark Johnson talks with seventh-grade student Emma Krohnfeldt and her mom, Liz Paul, at Discovery Middle School's Academic Open House Feb. 19. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Science teacher Mark Johnson talks with seventh-grade student Emma Krohnfeldt and her mom, Liz Paul, at Discovery Middle School's Academic Open House Feb. 19. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Earth science teacher Rachel Bothun goes over the results of an online schoology quiz taken by Emily Zwach (right), as eighth-grade student Parker Zwach looks on. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Earth science teacher Rachel Bothun goes over the results of an online schoology quiz taken by Emily Zwach (right), as eighth-grade student Parker Zwach looks on. (Ross Evavold / Echo Press)

Last month at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria, parents had an opportunity to see for themselves some of the ways things had changed, as the school held its first-ever Academic Open House.

"It's been a dream of mine forever to really tell our story," Principal Matt Aker said of opening up the school and showcasing projects in each classroom so parents could better understand what their kids are doing in school, and the ways in which they are learning.

The 60 or so teachers in grades 6-8 all prepared examples of project-based learning, which Aker described as a different, more hands-on learning experience for students

"Instead of taking a test that says you are 92 percent proficient, we try and do some community-based things so it's relevant to them," he said.

That could be a student project that brings an idea to life, or one that shows how something relates to the community. But it's not simply reading about a subject, or taking a pen and paper test. 

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Source, image(s), credits & more: Echo Press | Ross Evavold