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Cool Schools: Students building cities from scratch

Stanley Clark School students are not just using textbooks to learn in class. They are taking a hands-on approach to learning.

5th and 6th graders are working on a cumulative end-of-year project called "You Town." Students have been tasked with building a civilization from the ground up. They are combining the subjects of social studies, math, science, English, and foreign language to build and learn what it takes to make a civilization function.

"They pick the location then they have to go about finding the different needs that a civilization has. We started off by examining and researching Maslow’s Hierarchy, was developed in the 50’s about the hierarchy of what everyone needs,” said 5th and 6th grade Social Studies Teacher George Phillip.

The goal of the project is to give students a chance to learn the value of teamwork and bring school subjects to life. “They kind of get more of that authentic experience of what it truly was like in those early civilizations,” Phillip added.

Prior to building the city, students have done extensive research and studied renewable energy sources. “Sometimes I’ve hit like a wall and can’t do anything and other times when I get a good piece of research I can keep going,” said 6th grade Student Caio Gould.

The students have also learned about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and specific components that it takes for a city to function.

“My category is security and safety and so basically I have to know why we need a fire station and why we need a police station, why we need security cameras, all of that stuff,” 6th grade Student Johnny Shuck said.

The students are still in the developing phase of the project but will have it completed by the end of May. The final parts will be creating the model civilization and writing a newspaper article that will define how each civilization will thrive.

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