McNicholas students and teachers moved from an eight bell day that included a 48 minute lunch to an adjusted seven bell schedule to incorporate a once-a-week Explore bell for the 2019/2020 school year.
According to Principal David Mueller, Explore bells are designed to enable students to participate in different fields of interest outside of the standard classroom.
“Explore time should be fun and engaging. I hope that students will be able to engage in an activity they are passionate about or find something they didn’t know they were passionate about,” said Director of Educational Technology Emily Materna.
Some of the offerings so far include yoga, drone racing, hiking and backpacking, various opportunities for students to receive tutoring, and service opportunities. Explore bell opportunities take place on Thursday afternoons, following the second day of block days. Students need to register for their Explore bell choice by the end of the day each Tuesday.
Principal David Mueller came up with the idea of implementing more time for students to discover new interests and foster previous passions at the beginning of the second semester last year. “Learning goes beyond the traditional courses. There are soft skills out there; things you sort of need to take with you and some of them are very practical,” Mueller said.
Sophomore Derek Moore participated in drone racing during his first Explore bell on Sept. 12. “[Drone racing] was very interesting… I’m going to be part of a team and I’m going to make a miniaturize sized drone, I am the drone technicians, I maintain the drone and make sure it works rights,” Moore said.
“More and more, to get ready for the world that’s out there now, students need the skills of being lifetime learners, so the days of just intake, memorization, and spitting it back are gone,” Mueller said.
Check out what your fellow rockets are doing in their explore bells here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjCNXpGgRSk