In 8th grade history, Browne Academy students deepen their understanding of the United States Constitution through a collaborative, performance-based unit that culminates in the annual We the People regional competition. In groups, students prepare four-minute written statements and then respond to six minutes of questioning from a panel of judges.
The World Peace Game is part of the curriculum at Browne Academy, one of only a few schools in the Washington, DC, area to offer this complex, collaborative activity. Per its website, “The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention.” The game is a natural fit for Browne’s inquiry-based curriculum; all Browne students are required to participate one time during their middle school career. Learn more about the World Peace Game Foundation here.
The Environmental Conservation enrichment course at Browne offers students a chance to improve their knowledge of environmental issues through project-based learning. Students tackle various projects throughout the year. During the fall, students tend and prepare the campus gardens for winter with some planning for the following year’s planting schedule and species. Environmental topics like impacts of invasive species are examined through local invasive species removal or native species planting. When the weather gets cold, students turn their efforts toward improving the school’s recycling program, which is led through school initiatives and collections. Students also are immersed in an ongoing project to build a community Earth Bench. The Earth Bench is made entirely out of recycled hard and soft plastics turned into “bottle bricks” that are used for the building materials. This project raises campus awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics. In the spring, as weather warms, students plan, research and grow seeds for our community garden. Harvesting allows students to enjoy the fruits of their labor, including salads and fresh French fries. This enrichment course provides students opportunities to improve their community through campus beautification, raise environmental awareness, and improve their knowledge of environmental conservation.
The world is their oyster in Independent Inquiry, an enrichment coursethat allows students to follow their passions. They choose their own course of study - coding, digital photography, writing, film-making, or something else that excites them - and undertake an individual project in that selected field. A faculty member will advise each student during Independent Inquiry.