6th Grade Passion Projects Encourage Hands-On Learning

This week, 6th graders wrapped up their project-based learning assignments, which culminated with presentations on Thursday. During the activity, students were asked to create a presentation of their choice around one of three different themes: Design on a Dime, Creating Awareness in St. Louis or 3D Design Assistive Tech. This is the School’s third year engaging 6th graders in intensive project-based learning, where students had significant time to work autonomously on their projects.

“Projects are designed to create personal connections to student learning, and students have complete freedom and control in the direction of their project experience,” said 6th Grade Dean Mark Duvall. “Project topics cross disciplines, and students build skills that are relevant to the classroom and the real world.”

Design on a Dime

With Design on a Dime, students selected one space at MICDS that they would like to redesign for a future and specific purpose. They interviewed various members of the MICDS community, brainstormed their own ideas and drew up plans to design the space. In the end, students came up with some creative new designs for the dining hall, various classrooms and other spaces around campus.

Creating Awareness

Through Creating Awareness in St. Louis, students chose one social issue or cause in the surrounding community. They researched the issue individually or with a partner and developed a presentation that both raised awareness and proposed a solution. For this theme, students chose to talk about anything from animal rights to environmental issues, education or homelessness.

3D Design Assistive Tech

Through this project, students gained awareness, empathy and learned engineering and problem-solving skills while solving a real-life problem for individuals with disabilities. They used digital fabrication technology and engineering skills to create a functional aid that will make everyday life more accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. During the presentation, they demonstrated their tool in use and described the impact the tool will have. Some topics included a remote control enlarger, a wheelchair cup holder or a medication bottle opener.