Exploratories – Where Learning Meets Fun

Middle school is often the age of awkwardness, growth spurts, and social exploration. It’s also a time where young teens embark on journeys of grand discovery. At Shanghai American School, we provide plenty of opportunities for students to pioneer their futures. This includes the fun and enriching Exploratory classes at Pudong Middle School, where students dive into the intriguing realm of Warhammer, practice their problem-solving skills with puzzles, learn traditional Chinese games, fine-tune their musical skills and so much more.
 


Middle school is often the age of awkwardness, growth spurts, and social exploration. It’s also a time where young teens embark on journeys of grand discovery. At Shanghai American School, we provide plenty of opportunities for students to pioneer their futures. This includes the fun and enriching Exploratory classes at Pudong Middle School, where students dive into the intriguing realm of Warhammer, practice their problem-solving skills with puzzles, learn traditional Chinese games, fine-tune their musical skills and so much more.
 


Not only are the students delighted to try something new, but the teachers get just as excited to share their passions. “A large majority of our teachers do something totally outside of their content area. The kids get to see that passion coming out when the teacher is running the Exploratory, and I think that’s a great connection for student and teacher,” said Ryne Holstrom, Pudong Middle School Vice-Principal.

Grade 6 student, Bella, said participating in Roots & Shoots is a great way to learn responsibility. “It’s an opportunity for me to do a class with my friends while also learning how to take care of plants, myself and other things, and how to be responsible.”

Anna, who is in Grade 7, does Scratch coding, which enhances her problem-solving skills. “You learn how to use blocks and variables to solve problems. We also learn how to collaborate because sometimes we have to work on projects together.”

Leo, an eighth grader, enjoys having some downtime to perfect his concentration skills through Warhammer figure painting. “It helps me to focus better. The figures are tiny and I have to paint on them, so I have to be fully concentrated on the painting and not get distracted.”
 


So these classes are not just fun and games; they offer valuable life lessons and skills. Remember the student who was propelling the future? He did CAD in Exploratory, which elevated his designs for the drones he was building. He was then able to have them 3D printed to be manufactured by factories. 
 


Exploratory classes give students a taste of various activities they might not normally be exposed to. Who knows, the next jazz legend, historian or author might just be born in one of these classrooms.

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