ROXBOROUGH - Students, parents and community members had the opportunity to get a taste of the work being done in Roxborough Intermediate School’s International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), during the school’s first-ever IB Exhibition.
Sixth-grade students lined the hallways, gym and library of the school, ready and willing to share their learning with everyone that was interested.
“You couldn’t just walk by a table,” explained Sandra Barrett a Professional Learning Specialist at Ranch View Middle School. “They wanted you to hear what they were saying. Their excitement to share was contagious.”
She, along with her principal, Tanner Fitch, were impressed by the projects created by the students who will soon be continuing their IB journey at Ranch View.
In each case, the projects were inquiry-based – beginning with questions from the students that led to a community or global issue and eventually to potential solutions.
“The ultimate product of this is a student who knows ‘how to think,’ not ‘what to think.’ They know how to ask great questions. That is an amazing life skill,” Fitch said.
“IB encourages people to not only find a problem but to create action plans. This puts them on the road to creating solutions to problems of the world,” explained ThunderRidge High School senior Mikayla Hibbard, one of the many IB Diploma Program students who volunteered to help provide feedback on the projects.
In the gym alone, there were presentations on everything from the effects of blood discoloration, testing on animals, drinking and driving and deforestation.
“We did a lot of preparation for this and we are very, very excited about today,” said Roxborough sixth-grader Victoria Vetsch, whose team was presenting about mistreatment of circus animals.
“We really do care about the animals. It just breaks my heart when I see circus animal mistreatment,” said Miles Jones, another Roxborough sixth-grader.
Meanwhile, in the main hall, students were educating classmates and community members about ways to prevent bullying and the income disparities women often face.
Dick Lurz, the grandfather of one of the presenters said that he was proud of the hard work of his grandson and the rest of the students.
‘They have been excited, as they’ve worked on it all month long,” Lurz said. “[These projects] prepare them to take on something challenging that they haven’t done before.”
“These issues that kids are talking about are relevant, real world issues and concepts,” Fitch added. “They are pushing their thinking to a deeper level.”
“I thought of questions as they were talking and they had answers for all of it,” Barrett said. “[By using an inquiry-based process] their level of knowledge was far deeper than any other way to learn.”
By attending the exhibition, the Ranch View team hopes to now build better symmetry between the work being done in Roxborough’s PYP and their school’s Middle Years Programme (MYP), so there is better alignment for students transitioning up to Ranch View next year.
“It is inspiring to us because we see what they’re capable of and the depth of learning they are able to get to. Now we take that as an opportunity to build on that when they come to us in Ranch View,” Fitch said.
VIEW: Facebook album of Roxborough IB Exhibition
Learn more about the International Baccalaureate program at www.ibo.org