ENgage (5th Grade - 8th Grade)

ENgaging Learners

“This new generation will have the opportunity to solve many global issues: healthcare, energy security and the global food crisis to name just a few. Given this, the missing ingredient is a better knowledge of math and science and its power to provide solutions to these problems. Technology can and will change the world. For this younger generation to be the force for good they want to be, they need to understand that the new literacy of the 21st century includes math and science.”
-Tom Luce, Former CEO, National Math a
nd Science Initiative

As students matriculate through their middle school years, the focus on inquiry and project-based learning continues. One of the major components that our middle school students may choose to take advantage of is the ability to enroll in advanced math programming, such as Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry, in order to earn verified credit before entering high school. The focus on STEM disciplines intensifies, as students and their parents are made aware of post-secondary educational opportunities and the need for a STEM skilled workforce. Examples of some of the programs that our sixth through eighth grade students are engaged in include:

  • Student site visits to the Patrick Henry Community College Fab Lab and the New College Institute Academy of Engineering and Technology
  • Robotics mentoring by engineers through Virginia State University and Eastman Chemical Corporation
  • Site visits to RTI International to meet with engineers and see engineering in action through the exploratory wheel. Additionally students meet with RTI International’s Human Resources Director to learn about career opportunities and the skills/education needed to gain employment
  • Robotics integrated into Algebra I instruction through research partnership with James Madison University and the National Science Foundation
  • Sixth and seventh grade students enroll in the NASA SEMAA project for a 9-week block while eighth grade students may elect to participate in a one-semester exploratory course
  • Reinforcement of math skills through a three-year research partnership with Virginia Tech