Experiential learning is an engaged learning process whereby students “learn by doing” and then reflecting on this experience. Experiences are carefully chosen for their learning potential. Throughout the experiential learning process, the learner is actively engaged in critical thinking, experimentation, and problem solving.
At HIGS, experiential learning is integrated into core classes, as well as through a dedicated program: Green Fridays. Every Friday afternoon, students from K through 9 are immersed in environmental initiatives such as oceanic research, sustainable farming, and the implementation of sustainable waste management. Check out the last year's (2020-2021) Green Friday Projects below!
The objective of the Grade 5 & 6 project was to sensitize people to the scarcity of fresh water as a precious commodity and to explore what responsible usage looks like in The Bahamas. Students studied the water cycle and visited the water pumping station on Harbour Island which distributes groundwater sourced from North Eleuthera. The students tackled this issue by raising money to buy and install a 300 gallon rainwater tank to utilize at school. At the expo, they shared water conservation tips and encouraged families to be responsible with their own water usage.
Students in grades 1 and 2 embarked on a journey to learn about the marine ecosystems in The Bahamas and their importance. They explored the mangroves, seagrass, rocky shore, sandy shore, coral reef, and pelagic zone throughout the interdisciplinary unit. They learned about the importance of the various ecosystems in the Bahamas. Exploring the various ecosystems allowed students to have hands-on interactions with the environment they live in, and better understand the relationship between animals, humans and the environment. The students were able to understand how their individual actions have global ecological impacts.
The grade 8 & 9 students at The Green School dived into learning about the multifaceted issue of climate change and what they as students could do about it. After tireless research, the students started exploring alternative energy and energy conservation - and what that looked like here in The Bahamas. After doing an energy audit and coming up with a long term plan to reduce the school’s carbon footprint, they were able to make small changes that made a big impact. This semester grade 8 & 9 hosted a movie night to raise funds and was able to replace all the school’s light bulbs to LED bulbs, insulate doors, replace broken windows, and purchase a small solar-powered charging station. While alternative energy would be a huge step in the right direction, facing this issue begins with being responsible with all energy usage.
This semester grades 3, 4 & 7 embarked on a journey to figure out how the food we eat affects our health and the sustainability of our planet. They researched what foods easily grow in The Bahamas and set out to grow some of these foods themselves. Students also visited the Leon Levy Plant Preserve which showcased numerous food plants which grow easily in The Bahamas. The students visited Food Post Farms in North Eleuthera to learn about the benefits and challenges of sustainable chicken farming and observe the benefits of a waste management system that employs composting as a major aspect of its functioning. Food Post Farms is able to divert hundreds of pounds of waste from landfills by composting it, a practice that the school has since committed to adopting.
Zero waste system
The Junior High students this year focused on learning about and implementing a Zero Waste System at HIGS. Students explored the landfill in North Eleuthera and met with local stakeholders to learn about local waste systems and environmentally sustainable practices. Throughout the term, students developed and revamped our waste system, which now includes three bins: compost, general trash, and aluminum.
Native Plant Garden
The Grade 5 & 6 class learned about indigenous and medicinal plants through the building of our native plant garden. They worked with Dr. Ethan Freid, a renowned botanist from The Bahamas National Trust, and a local entrepreneur, Calae Burrows. Burrows uses local plants in teas, cosmetics and seasonings. Students learned about our botanical heritage and its cultural and economic value. They then designed their own garden of indigenous and medicinal plants to plant on school grounds. The class worked as a team to select, propagate, and transplant appropriate plants, as well as to keep these plants healthy and alive as the year progressed. The garden is planted against a mural the students painted, which features local birds and butterflies. The class then finished off the year by selling various plants and teas made from their hard won crops at the Green Friday Exhibition at the end of the year. Their work not only aligned with the national curriculum for science and social studies but was an highly engaging way of exploring these topics.
Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students were hands-on in the garden with field trips or visitors each week. Several areas of farming were included in their learning, and students' interests acted as the guide for the learning process. Worms became a strong area of student interest after the visit to FoodPost Farms. Composting and its importance became a focal point in their studies.