Two times each year, MS 8 students engage in a deep, two-week study of one of our planet’s problems. Students read, talk to experts in the field, interact with the community, and visit some of the many cultural, historical, and educational institutions of New York City. Our exploration units make learning real and meaningful for our students and help us achieve our goal of preparing students to be creative and critical thinkers who have a positive impact on our planet.
Sixth Grade: Can Art Change the World?
From January 2nd-January 17th, 2019, 6th grade students will participate in discussions, view films, visit museums in New York City, and meet many different people who are tackling this big question in their lives.
As they have these experiences, we will continuously ask them to return to this question: Can Art Change the World? How do artists use and challenge prevailing stereotypes? What is the role of music in movements of social change? How does art allow us to feel empathy and compassion? Why tell stories through photography and documentary? What makes one art form more powerful to you than another?
Seventh Grade: Is Our Relationship to Animals Ethical?
Students will be learning about various issues concerning the treatment of animals at MS 8 in four workshops, through videos, readings, and small group discussions. They will also view films to deepen their understanding, such as Blackfish and March of the Penguins. During subsequent field studies, students will use New York City as their classroom, exploring questions surrounding our relationship to animals in various contexts through visits to the New York Aquarium, the Prospect Park Zoo, the American Natural History Museum, and Fashion Institute of Technology.
Eighth Grade: How Can We Create a More Sustainable Community Within Our School and New York City?
8th grade students will spend the first two weeks of 2019 students studying the impacts we have on our world, including specifically the environmental impacts they have as students in the Westinghouse building. They will ultimately transfer their inquiry to create a more sustainable community within our school and our larger world. Student exploration is multi-modal, consisting both of hands-on inquiry and community-based research. Our aim — to create more informed citizens, eager to shape their environment in a thoughtful way!
Sixth Grade: What Is Courage?
From June 3rd to June 19th, 2019, 6th grade students will participate in discussions, view films, visit sites in New York City, and meet many different people who have demonstrated courage in some way in their lives.
As they have these experiences, we will continuously ask them to return to this question: What is Courage? What kind of courage does this person have? In what different ways do people demonstrate courage? Who do we know who is courageous? How will our understanding of courage deepen as we learn more? Finally, how can we start to exemplify courage in our own worlds?
Seventh Grade: How Does Food Connect and Divide Us?
From June 3rd to June 19th, students will consider the big question, How does food connect and divide us? We all eat every day, but what we eat, how we eat and why we eat, is grounded in history, food policy and identity. Our primary aim for this Exploration is to develop awareness and empower students to make food choices that are empowered and principled.
During our weeks of deep study, students will view films, explore museums and green markets, and meet people who are experts in the food industry field. Students will also be guided through teacher-led workshops to contextualize their experiences and engage in discussions with one another. As we did in our January Exploration, students will design a culminating event for the larger school community to share and celebrate their new understandings.
We ask families to contribute to help underwrite the cost of this amazing program. Please donate what you can online below.
Help us pay for:
- field trips to New York City institutions such as the Children’s Museum of the Arts, NY Aquarium, Red Hook Community Farm, City Growers at Brooklyn Grange, Museum of the City of New York, Brooklyn Museum, Bushwick Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour and more
- guest speakers and workshops
- films for screening
- art supplies and materials for the final projects presented at the Exploration Expositions