Experiencing a broadening of horizons and a deepening of understanding, our Adolescent Program (AP) students continue to expand their knowledge while igniting their purpose and voice.   In expanding our exploration of what it means to be human, we are pondering the question “Why do we seek knowledge?”  In grappling with this question students peer deeply into the world today, further evolving our study of place, connecting it with the past while anticipating the future.

Continuing our focus on the Chesapeake Bay by discovering and exploring issues challenging the entire watershed, student teams found issues within the eight jurisdictions (MD, VA, PA, NY, DE, WV, Washington DC, and the Federal Government) which they deemed most pressing.  In bringing their findings to our classroom  while peer-educating our community, they increased our knowledge of oyster bed reclamation,  erosion abatement programs, fracking, and pollution, to name a few of the myriad subjects discussed.

Continuing our connections with the tangible, our going out experience was an enlightening visit to the Back River Water Treatment Plant.  In actually seeing (and smelling) how wastewater is managed and treated, students witnessed the science and technology used to protect our environment and hasten the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay.  Tied in with our science, humanities, and mathematical work, this very memorable trip showcased the practical applications of our conceptual studies.

Delving into the management of water in ancient cultures, our social studies explorations include the scientific, social, ecological, economic and governmental impact of this treasured resource in ancient times and today.  By including practical hands-on demonstrations of how water behaves in an aqueduct, to how an aquifer functions our class has actually seen the interactions water has in nature.

By exploring science through experiments demonstrating the effect of salt on the boiling point of water and the filtering function of sand, rock, and fabric on the clarity of water, the AP students practiced the scientific method.  In gathering data, recording observations, and reaching conclusions, students became familiar with the groundwork of creating their own experiments.

Other areas of studies for our class include our short weekly readings of Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea for our mathematics studies.  Complementing our water studies is our  ELA reading of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, a play which poses moral and ethical questions concerning economic, social, and ecological issues.

School Store customers are receiving delivery of the sweatshirt orders from Grandfriends’ Day, and our students are experiencing the vagaries of running a business.  We are looking forward to showcasing our store during the upcoming holiday celebrations.

Prior to the holiday break, we are looking forward to a visit from Maryland House of Delegates member Steven Lafferty, which will include a seminar covering government and the Chesapeake Bay, and the start of our TIC (Trout in the Classroom) program with a visit by Danny Sheesley.

It’s an exciting and enlightening time to be a part of the Adolescent Program.