MGAES Students Enjoy Learning, Outreach
At Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School (MGAES) in Battle Ground, Wash., students have many opportunities to participate in unique and cutting-edge education while serving the Savior in the local community.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education has been at the forefront of curriculum planning at MGAES. Students are encouraged to search for answers by thinking critically, communicating with fellow classmates, collaborating with each other and always being creative.
In fifth and sixth grades, students have had lots of fun discovering how electricity works, but the biggest hit has been the individual experiments they get to design themselves. As Adam Dovich, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, says, “I have kids doing individual and group experiments. They have to come up with the experiment idea and follow the scientific process. They have to collaborate with their partner or partners and demonstrate their experiments for the class and communicate and document the scientific process. It has been a great learning experience for all of us.”
In addition to participating in cutting-edge learning, students at MGAES get to serve their community in a number of ways. One of the ways the fifth- and sixth-graders participate in community outreach is through Family Groups. Each of the three fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms is split into groups of four or five students each. Students identify the needs they see in the community — whether that be the local church, the school, the community at large or even the world community. Once the group identifies a need, they focus on developing and implementing a plan that will impact that person or group.
Serving the community meant something different for each group. Group outreach included gathering the lunch lists for Christina Heinrich, the school secretary; collecting stuffed animals for the children of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Ore.; and helping teacher Kiley Thompson sort papers. Students were able to see the impact they had when they helped within their own community.
As a result of choosing their own outreach projects, students took ownership of what they did. They became better friends within the groups, but most the important thing they practiced was community involvement.
Between collaborative learning and mission-focused education that benefits the community, MGAES students continue to strive toward their goal: “We learn, we serve, we love.”