Students enrolled in the Atlantis Program at James H. Vernon School recently showcased their independent study projects during the school’s Atlantis Project Symposium. Family members were invited into the Vernon gymnasium to view the projects on display and speak with the students about their work.
The Atlantis Program, led by teacher Joanne Loring, is an enrichment program for Vernon students in grades 4-6 who qualify. At the start of the school year, these students were challenged to pick a research topic that interested them and to formulate a strong research question that they could seek answers to. The students produced questions such as “why is learning about Ancient Egypt important to modern society?” and “why is it important to understand how marine animals communicate?”
Students had a different focus based on their grade level. Fourth graders focused on learning the steps of the independent study project process and creating strong research questions. The fifth graders focused on how experts think about doing their work and returning sixth graders focused on making projects for action that could affect the community.
Each student approached their research question differently and showcased their findings through the medium that they liked best. Some created Google sites to highlight what they learned, while others created tri-fold boards and books. During the symposium, family members walked around the gymnasium and asked the students questions about their project. The event was a great way to showcase to the community all that the students learned.