KENSINGTON WOODS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN INNOVATIVE PROJECT-BASED CLASSES - Exhibition of Student Work Scheduled
During the past week, and for the next week and a half, Kensington Woods High School students will take part in the annual tradition of Project Term. Project Term, a unique feature of Kensington Woods, is a 3 week term where students take part in intensive, interdisciplinary, project-based classes.
Originally conceived as a late-spring activity when students were restless and looking for something different, Project Term has become a popular and integral part of the Kensington Woods curriculum, reflecting the mission of the school, which is to create a small, personal learning environment that focuses on a college preparatory curriculum through innovative and engaging methods.
Each class is designed as an intensive, rigorous exploration of the topic, with high student engagement and voice. Mary Rohn, Kensington Woods teacher believes that, “Project Term provides students and teachers a unique opportunity to continue building upon academic foundations set in place during the regular school year. It allows learning to occur in a less formal setting with challenging, interesting, exciting and meaningful classes that offer something for everyone’s interests. The results are long-lasting and heartfelt.” Teachers incorporate innovative and engaging teaching methods like project-based learning, interdisciplinary learning, technology, service learning and community involvement. Teacher Shawn Pollman thinks that “Project Term is a valuable opportunity for all school members to build relationships with one another and the community as they engage in meaningful learning experiences that take them outside the classroom and the school.”
Project Term classes are small and students only take two classes over the course of the three week term. This allows students and teachers to create strong relationships that last beyond the term and into the next school year. “Project Term is a chance for you to try new things and work with other students and teachers that you might not normally,” says Junior Katie Martini. Teacher Markus Muennix says, “Project Term offers a unique opportunity for students and teachers to connect and see each other in a different light.”
Course options range from subjects such as technology, art, writing, physical fitness, science, humanities and more and differ from year to year. Some of this year’s choices included:
- Introduction to Cooking: Students learn the basic skills needed to prepare delicious meals, including shopping, prepping, spice combinations and flavor blending and of course, cooking.
- Experimental Photography: This class focuses on experimental aspects of photography (pinhole cameras, Polaroid transfers and other alternative techniques) to create art and study the science behind cameras and photography.
- Tall Ships Adventure: Students will explore the history of sailing vessels in the US and Michigan and the basics of sailing. They will build a historically accurate scale model of a merchant ship build and launched in Detroit, Friends Good Will. Friends Good Will was pressed into service in the War of 1812.
- Greener Livingston: In this class, students complete educational and service projects focused on improving the environment around Livingston County.
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Students investigate how to best design, build and launch a rocket to hit a specified target to kill Klowns in outer space. Students will learn real-life applications for physics and mathematical concepts.
- Pure Michigan: This class takes students around the state of Michigan to learn about its history and landmarks and then has them make their own Pure Michigan TV advertisement.
- Board Game Builders: Students break down what makes a board game fun and then design, build, test and play their own games with support from professional board game builders.
“Project Term is a serious requirement with a twist,” says Principal Jim Perry. “Within the parameters of a structured curriculum, students focus on areas of interest with hands-on and innovative exploration.” All classes focus on creating a project that they develop as they investigate their topic. All projects will be exhibited at Kensington Woods’ annual Project Term Open House Night.
Project Term Open House Night will be held on Wednesday, June 13 from 6-8pm. The entire community is invited to come and experience the projects created by students. Prospective new students and families are also invited to attend to meet with faculty, students and tour the school. The annual school-wide art exhibit will also be on display during the evening.
During the Project Term Open House, Kensington Woods High School’s FIRST Robotics Team (GEMS Team 4362) will have their All Star Rookie Robot on display with team members on hand to answer questions about the building process and to do demonstrations.
For further information about Kensington Woods High School or Project Term, contact Principal Jim Perry at 517.545.0828 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kensington Woods High School is located on the campus of Cleary University at 3700 Cleary Drive, Howell, Michigan 48843.