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Doane Stuart Middle School Integrated Project is Underway

For a two-week period in the spring, the regular Middle School routine is dropped and all of the teaching and learning is accomplished through an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on a single broad theme.  With special workshops, field trips and speakers, students experience an opportunity of exploring a topic in depth, using all of the techniques and skills already learned in regular classes.

We are excited to introduce a brand-new project this year, called Sounds Great! The Middle School will welcome several experienced speakers, including Mr. Smith, father of Rowan (‘22), who will introduce the topic, and Dr. Eric Molho, father of Graham (‘07), Dylan (‘09), and Lucas (‘14)). Dr. Mohlo is an enthusiastic birdwatcher, who will share his travel experiences with us.

 In addition to speakers, there will be a variety of stations. Science teacher Ms. Morgan enthusiastically explains her station with a question: “Have you ever wondered why gorillas stick out their tongues or why kangaroos thump their hind legs, or why whales breach out of the water?  From the impressive language and dialect of prairie dogs to the “beyond-human-hearing” rumbles of elephants to the numerous distinctive cries of chickens,  Ms. Morgan’s station will look at all the amazing ways animal communicate.

Get ready to take on the roles of some of these amazing creatures!”   Art teacher Mr. Martinez is calling his station “Sound of Silence” because he wants the students to explore this question: How does an artist interpret sound visually?  Mr. H’s station, of course, will focus on the physics of sound, while Mrs. H. will explore the importance of voice, both in writing and speaking. Mr. Hetko plans to explore instruments and their sound.

Certainly  the students love going on trips during the project. This year we are going to have a tour of EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where our students will hear from three engineers who will discuss how the design of the building is meant to manage and enhance sound. On Wednesday, April 12, we will travel to the Lyceum Theatre in New York City to see the Broadway show, “The Play that Goes Wrong.” Further information about that specific trip will be sent home closer to the date.

We are all very excited about this year’s new topic and believe that students, and adults alike, will learn a great deal.


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