Community Service and Engagement with the world are an integral part of each FlexSchool student’s experience. Beginning in late fall, students each choose a problem they want to solve in their world. These can range from community service projects to designing an app to make communication easier. Each student chooses a mentor who is an expert in the area he or she would like to study. The student is then encouraged to research, brainstorm, and produce a result that makes a difference in the local community or the world. Projects are presented to the community in June of each year.
2016 Student Project Exhibit
After months of research and work, families were finally able to see what the students produced. Our middle schoolers completed the following projects: Laura developed and implemented a farm educational program, Emily researched on animal sentience, focusing on African elephants and bonobos, Anders helped train a therapy dog, Misha completed a presentation on autism awareness and Max researched on the effects of music on the brain.
Our high schoolers completed the following projects: Devin created a blog discussing his new philosophy of perspective morality, Elyte created her own language, Ben improved the workflow at a food bank by creating a computerized floorpan, Wyatt completed a research paper on pollution, and Nina volunteered with the elderly and memory impaired at a home.
Students developed critical thinking, researched skills and came up with more in-depth questions than answers! That means that next year we’ll have more exciting projects! A few students are considering building a tiny house or an earth home.
The Projects From 2015
Creative School Project
FlexSchool has a sister school called Las Retamas in Lunlunta Maipu Mendoza, Argentina, high in the Andes. The school is run in the evenings so that girls who work on the farms all day can get a high school education. Summer’s harvest is ending soon, so students in the Spanish class will speak with students on Skype, and all students will learn about the students and their culture. As it is difficult to send goods to Argentina, students are raising money that will be hand-carried to the school.
Evacuation signs at strategic locations in a city with a history of deadly floods. The student is using topographical maps and historical flood patterns to determine the locations for the signs.
High School Projects
A Minecraft modification to teach children and teens about contagious diseases. The student chose this topic after seeing the reaction to the few Ebola patients who returned from humanitarian efforts in Africa. He hopes his game will educate students in the different ways in which viruses and bacterial illnesses are transmitted.
Information and care packages for parents who are taking babies home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition, this student is raising money to buy either a rocking chair or additional breast pumps for the hospital.
A software program to allow people to turn their computers on from a remote location. It is now possible to access a networked and booted computer remotely; this student is developing software that would actually turn the computer on.
A brochure to teach families about why it is important to spay and neuter animals. This student is also volunteering at an animal shelter, and hopes to place his educational brochure at shelters, veterinary offices, and pet supply stores.
Middle School Projects
A hardware and software package that would allow the user to charge a smart phone or tablet through any stationary exercise equipment. Though these exist, they are normally tied into a home or office electrical system. This would be a standalone system, usable by anyone in the home.
A reading or singing program for local senior citizens. The student is volunteering three times a week with seniors in a high-care center. She is still deciding which program is best.
An art installation to highlight pollution in the oceans and its effect on marine life. All art will relate to marine biology and be made of trash collected by the student. She also plans to submit her work for a chance to win a week at whale camp in Nova Scotia.
Making a Difference
FlexSchool students are encouraged to find ways to make a difference in the world. With our expert tutors of our mentors students can discover and nurture their passions and imaginations. They’ve already done some amazing things!