ISB Futures Academy 16-17: Right for Your Middle School Student?

Earlier today, we had two local experts in aquaponics (I learned aquaponics is growing food plants in artificial indoor ecosystems with the aid of fish.) visit our Grade 7 Futures Academy students.  By the end of the day, every student had an understanding of aquaponics and had collaborated with two classmates to build a working aquaponics system.  They are now growing food in the Futures Academy!  They are also learning about and experiencing indoor and outdoor soil farming techniques.  All of this learning is happening in the context of the Phoenix Project which asks, “Following a major environmental disaster, how do we feed ourselves?”  The students are learning about governments, NGOs, scientists, agricultural experts and the roles of various other people in society when answering such a complex question. And they are learning it in the context of what goes on here in China with food production systems.

The goal is not to produce farmers, per se, but to help our students see the interconnectedness of ideas, to solve problems, to be creative and collaborative in their approaches, and to recognize that their own learning about complex issues is important, even when it takes hard work to make sense of it all.  It’s about developing skills that will prepare our kids for an uncertain future.

We aim to provide these skills to every ISB student, whether in Futures Academy or not.  In fact, our other 7th grade students are working on the Phoenix Project, too.

But in Futures Academy the approach is different.  More integrated.  More flexible.  More project-based. More individualized.

Want to learn more?

MS Futures Academy Information Night, Tuesday evening this week, 6:30 to 7:30 in the Futures Academy learning space.  We will present general information about the program and a panel of current students and parents will answer your questions.  The session is designed for current 6th and 7th grade parents and students.

HS Futures Academy session on Thursday this week:

Session 1: November 19  8:30 am – 9:30 am, in the MPR.  This session will be geared to current Grade 8 Futures Academy Parents.

Session 2: November 19 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, in the MPR. This session is designed for all current Grade 8 parents.

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Jon Hill
ISB MS Principal