At TCS, our nationally recognized, innovative and unique project-based learning model gives our students the opportunity to learn through the lens of real world experiences thanks to partnerships with local universities, non-profits, and a variety of organizations in Midtown Atlanta and beyond.
Every Middle Grades project we undertake has a community partner that helps make our students’ work a truly immersive project-based learning experience. Some of our partnerships have included working and learning alongside professionals at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), Georgia Tech, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Second Helpings, New American Pathways, Piedmont Park Conservancy, Kennesaw State University, Truly Living Well, Maker Faire Atlanta, and more.
“Other schools, even those who have some level of project-based learning programs, start with subjects first and they try to see what projects will fit within 50-minute class blocks,” said Allen Broyles, assistant head of school at TCS. “At TCS, we start by getting our students engaged with the world. We spend the first few weeks of a unit off campus a lot, half days and full days, learning first hand from our incredible community partners. Then we use classroom subjects to try to illuminate our students’ understanding of the world.”
“For instance,” Allen continues, “In our work with the IRC and New American Pathways… On the surface, those organizations can teach us about the refugee experience, but when we take a deeper look, we’re studying geography, world politics, religion, resource access, climate change, nutrition, the science behind droughts and the science of human biology and stress and so much more.”
In another partnership with MODA, TCS students had the opportunity to work with MODA professionals on a “Human Rights Challenge.” Students studied the concepts of human rights and civil rights and were then tasked with designing a sculpture that reflected the issues. With the help of TCS art teacher Kelley and MODA volunteers, the students prototyped everything on 3D printers, did all of the math involved, including scale and calculations, and built prototypes of their designs.
For our eighth-grade capstone project, professors and master’s students from Kennesaw State University’s Shore Entrepreneurship Center will help our students choose an issue that speaks to them and design a business solution around the issue to help make the world a better place.
Through our community partnerships, TCS students not only see their school subjects come to life in the real world, but they also have the chance to go behind the scenes to learn how to create an organization that shapes the world for good.