At AACS, our mission is to engage students in an education of excellence enabling them to impact the world through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The 8th Grade Academic Showcase affords students an important public opportunity to learn how they can impact the world. Ron Berger, author of “An Ethic of Excellence” and “A Culture of Quality” has said, “Once a student creates work of value for an authentic audience beyond the classroom -- work that is sophisticated, accurate, important and beautiful -- that student is never the same. When you have done quality work, deeper work, you know you are always capable of doing more.”
At the Middle School, we wanted the wider community to see what we see and marvel at every day in the classroom: A distinctive of Christian education which embodies not only classical education but also the deposit of Wisdom by the Holy Spirit, taught only by the Creator and Author of life. All schools, independent and public, can teach knowledge; at AACS we see both. And so we created an event we call Showcase, a Gallery Walk, Art Showcase, and Live Program that features our own “sophisticated, accurate, important and beautiful” student work.
This year’s 3rd Annual 8th grade Showcase live program debuted “STEM on Stage” with an air vortex demonstration of the Bernoulli effect. This is the second year students delivered our own AACS version of a “Ted Talk” we now call “GEN Z” for Generation Z, the generation after millennials known for being “more global, “entrepreneurial” and hooked on the digital world. With access to a global community that breaks through the barrier of cement classroom walls, these GEN Zers need only their curiosity and teacher shepherds who teach classical education as well as 21st century skills, skills such as communication, creativity, and collaboration. In other words, it’s not simply about access to information, but what we do with the information we access.
This year GEN Z topics included everything from gum to games to God. Topics included: Technology and Jobs for the 21st Century; GEN Z and Technology Addiction; Cancer in Our Homes; Gum in Schools; Human Creativity; Why We Shouldn’t Wipe Out the Deadliest Animal on Earth; and Trusting God.
The Gallery Walk included snippets of sentences from essays, tiny morsels of perspicacious prose etched on boards, easels and music stands for all to see plucked from all core academic courses including American History, English Language Arts, Bible, Math and Science and Electives such as Creative Writing, Media Literacy, Math Enrichment, Inquiring Minds (STEM), Yearbook, Music Exploration and Spanish Language and Culture. These examples of deeper learning we intentionally aligned with our AACS Educational Goals: Growing Believers, Responsible Stewards, Active Learners, Compassionate Neighbors and Effective Communicators.
Congratulations to our 8th graders for confidently showcasing this year’s important, accurate and beautiful work and for demonstrating for all how to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
Written by: Susan Leonard, AACS 8th Grade Bible Teacher
to view a presentation on "The Importance of Creativity"
to view a presentation on "Trusting In God"
to view the closing presentation of a call to action.