New year brings new opportunities for mobile learning
GEMS World Academy Chicago makes it a priority to provide authentic learning experiences for students away from their classrooms. This commitment is part of our "city as campus" approach, which encourages students to use design thinking to create solutions for regional, national and even international challenges.
The key to this approach at GEMS is our Field Studies program. So far this school year, our students have explored multiple natural environments (prairie, lakefront), museums (American Writers Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art) and a variety of "neighborhood" institutions (grocery store, farmers market).
These are more than simple field trips. They are focused mobile-learning exercises, during which our students explore (and record) the world as scientists, engineers, journalists, artists and sociologists. Some highlights from this year:
Our fifth-graders ventured to the Chicago History Museum to explore the Facing Freedom in America exhibit. During this experience, they were able to participate in an interactive, inquiry-based workshop revolving around specific human-rights violations throughout the history of the United States.
Kindergartners explored Chicago Farmers Markets to learn about plants and how the world works. The students interviewed the farmers at the market to find out more about how their work affects the lives of people throughout the city, giving the students a chance to consider systems and how they interrelate.
Sixth-graders visited North Avenue Beach and cleaned up the shoreline, an activity that reinforced the International Baccalaureate commitment to social action and sparked discussions about environmental threats and responsibilities.
GEMS will continue to provide mobile-learning opportunities to students throughout the year. See some photos from this year's Field Studies below.