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Students who 'do', learn

07.29.14

 

From the day of apprenticeships at blacksmith shops, learning by doing has long been accepted as a way of sharing knowledge.

At Tech Valley High School, students learn virtually every concept by doing.

By completing "products" at the end of every lesson at TVHS, students must understand well enough the concepts they learn to develop that product.

From presentations to political arguments to functioning solar cookers, wind turbine and composting toilets, TVHS students develop products that showcase their knowledge in every class, virtually every month.

"I learn more effectively when I am doing something," said Class of 2014 graduate Thomas Gamsjager. "Hands-on learning makes it not only more interesting, but easier to understand.

Junior Kaila Schnoop said a project in which she and her classmates in environmental analysis class had to design models of the various energy sources used in Europe, as well as explain the impact of each model on the environment, gave her a real charge.

"I enjoyed creating something that actually makes energy," she said of the project she completed during her sophomore year.

Class of 2012 graduate Siana Botts said learning by doing was a key to her success.

"I am a hands-on kind of person. I can't learn by sitting and being lectured to. That's why I loved Tech Valley," said New England College junior.

Teacher Dee Weldon and 2014 graduates Mackenzie Stone and Sara Sisson work on a project.

TVHS Principal Dan Liebert said learning by doing is a proven method for learning.

“Students learn best when they are involved in the learning process,” he said. "Learning in context, and having the ability to discuss, collaborate and work as a team provides students with valuable skills they will use throughout their lives."

In the top photo,  freshmen Ralph Accornero and James Piambino work on a project in the EYP Fab Lab.

In the bottom photo, Teacher Dee Weldon and 2014 graduates Mackenzie Stone and Sara Sisson work on a project.