Eleven seniors strong, Big Blue looks to equal its winning, 7-3 season last year.
At the end of the 2017-18 school year, Pingry Middle Schoolers were not, as you might imagine, hunched over their desks completing final exams—dutifully checking off their last, onerous obligation before diving into summer fun. Instead, they were engaged in a variety of quite different tasks.
Sixth-grade students could be found in the Upper School Commons, gleefully dropping raw eggs down two stories in a range of contraptions designed to cushion their descent—much to the delight of several senior onlookers.
Form I students could be found interviewing faculty and administrators as they searched for a solution to a "Pingry problem" that they identified: insufficient flex time options and lax enforcement of rules for the ever-popular Powerball, for example.
And Form II students? They could be seen listening attentively to pointers from former Governor of New Jersey and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman.
Taking place over the span of four days in early June, these endeavors—known collectively as Project Week—were not simply an eagerly anticipated replacement to final exams. They were a culmination of many of the less tangible lessons the Middle School prioritizes, including collaboration, problem-solving, responsibility, creativity, resiliency, and curiosity, among others. Highlighting hands-on, multidisciplinary, experiential learning, the inaugural Project Week also put into practice ideas that are a focus of both the Middle School's curriculum and Pingry's 2018 Strategic Plan.
"Research suggests that the kind of hands-on activities central to Project Week help students learn more deeply—they strengthen the encoding of information, require students to retrieve the information, and ask them to refine their understanding by working with that information multiple times," explains Middle School Director Laurie Piette. "This process leads to internalizing and better memory of what was studied over the long term. Also, we really wanted to give students the opportunity to work with each other on topics that are relevant to their lives."
For more on the Middle School's inaugural Project Week, check out the Fall issue of The Pingry Review.
Photo on main News & Events page: Grade 6 students trek through Pingry's campus trails on a mission to clear and tidy them.
Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, email@example.com