Middle School (7th/8th Grade)
MEET THE TEAM
Each spring USU Physics Day at Lagoon offers the chance for thousands of middle school and high school students to gather at Utah’s largest amusement park to “do physics”. The USU Physics Department, the Idaho National Laboratory, and a host of STEM sponsors organize a wide variety of physics-based contests and activities at all levels centered around amusement park physics. And each year thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarships are awarded to top students and teachers.
Since 2004, Hale Centre Theatre has been given generous support which allows us to offer daytime performances free of charge to school groups from throughout the Intermountain West. These productions and musicals are based on classic novels and historical events that are often connected to content students are learning in middle school.
Catalina Island is a beautiful natural laboratory where 7th and 8th grade students have the opportunity to travel to for approximately $1,2000. It is an optional trip. Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) is an outdoor science school, providing an exciting outdoor education experience for 4th through 12th grade students from public and private schools. Our program is offered at three locations on Catalina Island – operated by the nonprofit corporation, Guided Discoveries – including Toyon Bay, Fox Landing, and Cherry Cove. During the five-day field trip programs, students and teachers enjoy a variety of experiential science labs and adventure activities in Marine Science and Island Ecology
Reality Town is a fun, hands-on curriculum for seventh and eighth grade students on a two year rotation that culminates in a two hour simulation that is run by Ignite parent volunteers and teachers, during which time students take on a career, salary, spouse, or lack thereof, children and the financial obligations of a 30 year old adult. Armed with their Reality Town Student Handbook, Personalized Pay Stub, and a pen, students are responsible for making financial decisions and standard monthly expenditures for their Reality Town family. The simulation offers 22 businesses where daily functions occur. Students learn to put needs before wants as they try to juggle all of their financial responsibilities .
What is Youth Entrepreneurs? Youth Entrepreneurs connects young people with the values and vision to achieve their dreams. We strive to change the mindsets of young people, so they believe in themselves and know what they can accomplish. Our experiential education framework instills entrepreneurial and economic principles into any subject area, and promotes more meaningful student engagement in classrooms.
What is Market Days? Market Day provides students the hands-on opportunity to transform a business idea at every stage, from bidding for capital to purchasing and execution. Market Day is an accumulation of lessons from the classroom, and the opportunity to combine them to create a successful pop-up business. Market Days is conducted on a two year rotational schedule.
Joseph Campbell, an American mythological researcher, wrote a famous book entitled The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In his lifelong research Campbell discovered many common patterns running through hero myths and stories from around the world. Years of research lead Campbell to discover several basic stages that almost every hero-quest goes through (no matter what culture the myth is a part of). He calls this common structure “the monomyth.” It is commonly referred to as “The Hero’s Journey.” The Hero’s Journey is a great technique for analyzing all kinds of stories–whether they be myths, legends, films, novels, short stories, plays, or even comic books. Educating students about the Hero’s Journey encourages them to think about plot structure, character motivation, and theme. It also leads them to consider what qualities they associate with heroes. Are heroes born or are they made? Are there heroes in real-life or must they be larger-than-life? Who are the heroes in our society.
Students at Ignite engage in the Hero’s Journey as a tool for self-reflection and discovery as they make meaningful connections about how they view their own life, the influences in it, and the influences that shape their understanding and https://www.ted.com/talks/matthew_winkler_what_makes_a_hero?language=enexperiences.
One terrific method for preparing students to conduct intelligent conversations is by staging Socratic Seminars. Students learn how to use effective habits of discussion, explain their ideas, and support them with evidence” Learn more here
A Socratic Seminar is a teaching strategy that provides students with the opportunity to discuss a text in order to gain a deeper understanding of the material. It encourages children to use their own voice and opinions without being overly focused on whether or not they have the right answer (Styslinger & Pollack, 2010). The process of the seminar serves to balance the two purposes of education: the worth of free inquiry and the cultivation of values (Treadway, 1995). We will explore the six steps for conducting a Socratic Seminar, discuss some of the obstacles one may face in implementing the seminar, and whether or not the seminar is found to have any lasting effects.
The focus of a Socratic Seminar is inquiry. Its name is derived from the Greek philosopher Socrates, who himself challenged students to deepen their understanding through conversation and questioning. He did not provide answers to students. Rather, he responded to their questions with more questions. This provided students with the impetus in order to examine their own thinking and look for inconsistencies within themselves.