Place-Based Learning

Place-Based Learning


At Stonecreek, we say that the world is our school. A central aspect of our philosophy and mission is that our students be connected to and engaged in the world around them. This includes learning activities that happen outside classroom walls, some on our campus, and many that take place around the city or beyond.

Experiential Learning on Campus

We take advantage of the many experts in our own parental community as well in local industry to engage students in learning beyond the classroom without even leaving campus.  We have some yearly visits, such as from fire safety experts. Others are based upon student interest; often students ask if they can plan an outing or invite someone to campus.

Local businesses engaged in activities that interest students, such as dog trainers or fire safety experts, are brought to campus.

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Students deliver benches to our playground, built as part of an Eagle Scout project by our recent graduate Evan Robinson.

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Students create upcycled planters from old pallets..

Learning Around Birmingham

The Birmingham area provides a number of wonderful learning opportunities, and students have explored everything from the Southern Museum of Flight to the Golden Flake factory to Barber Motorsports. Students have had environmental excursions as they hiked at Rufner and Bluff Park. Students have prepared budgets and meal plans, and then used their proposed budget to go to the grocery store to see if they were under budget.  High school students have taken trips to area colleges.

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Students visit the Civil Rights Museum.

 

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A regular activity is trips to Mexican restaurants to practice Spanish speaking skills.

 

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A recent addition is to the Cahaba Environmental Center which just opened. We were the first group to visit

 

Service Learning

Giving back to our community is a central part of Stonecreek philosophy. Stonecreek students engage in many service learning projects.  Students have led several options of their own, like raising over $200 for pet shelters (link) by just asking everyone to donate loose change each day.  Various projects including raising money to donate wagons to Children’s Hospital and repainting parking lot lines for local businesses, working with the East Lake Initiative or with Red Barn. Our students have wonderful giving hearts!

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Students create artwork that is used in local charity events like the  Darter Fish barrels for EcoFes

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Students make knotted blankets to donate (top)) and run food drives (bottom) to donate to local charities like Oak Mountain Missions.

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Students raised money to take supplies to Puerto Rico where they visited a school, helped build a garden, and worked on an organic farm over spring break.

 

Montessori Model United Nations

Each year, the middle school engages in the challenge of representing a country at the Model United Nations.  Issues have ranged from nuclear proliferation to GMOs to children forced to engage in combat.  Last year, we represented Belgium. All students participate in learning about the country we represent and trying to understand why they view issues as they do, who their allies are, and who opposes their views and why.  For those who wish to do so, each year we travel to New York City to participate, including trips to the United Nations building and having motions proposed on the floor.

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 Student Planned Trips

A key element of Stonecreek is students’ ability to be confident in their abilities to live globally. To that end, students help select and plan the outings that interest them.  This includes the yearly high school trip that goes to various places around the United States. Their first three trips have been to Puerto Rico, Yosemite, and Yellowstone.

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Students found, researched, and planned trip to Dismals Canyon (above).  Asked for and helped plan outing to Red Mountain (below).

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2016 high school trip to Yellowstone via the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore; students planned itinerary including routes, stops, and budget.

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2015 high school trip to San Francisco and Yosemite.  Students planned complete itinerary even mapping out grocery stores along the route to plan picnics together.