Students are Active Participants with Hands-on Learning

April 24, 2023

Dr. Beth Reaves – Head of School, Washington School for Girls (WSG)

Washington School for Girls is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus

At the Washington School for Girls, we value experiential learning and the opportunity for students to be active participants in the classroom. When we adopted the balanced calendar model over seven years ago, we created two weeks of additional experiential learning time called “Intersession,” which takes place one week before our fall and spring breaks.

In late March, students participated in a full week of field trips, outdoor activities, and collaborative learning. Off-campus adventures included trips to the Baltimore National Aquarium, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Arboretum. On campus, students completed art projects, worked together to solve escape room puzzles, and had a blast playing bubble soccer.

One of the most exciting experiences of the week was a visit from Mr. Walter (My Reptile Guys), who brought a menagerie of snakes, lizards, turtles, and even a tarantula for an interactive meet and greet. For several hours, students learned the basics of each animal and had the opportunity to touch and hold them. As the session progressed, students became more comfortable and confident interacting with the animals, and by the end of the morning almost all students had conquered any fears they had brought with them. For middle school students, this activity was a chance for them to expand their learning about reptiles. Earlier this year, the science lab had acquired a bearded dragon, who lives at school and is cared for by 6-8th graders.

This activity with the reptiles was an ideal ending to a terrific week for WSG!

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