Interdisciplinary Exploration is being expanded in seventh and eighth grade at Lancaster Mennonite Middle School.

LMMS curriculum changes will involve students in more experiential learning, spending more time exploring, integrating and synthesizing content in a project-based learning environment. Teachers will integrate material to connect subjects and will infuse local and global events as they relate to the curriculum and learning objectives.

Middle School Principal and High School Associate Principal Elizabeth Landis says, “When traditionally independent disciplines are fused, students are engaged in relevant, vibrant and experiential learning that empowers them to make connections across disciplines and in the real world.”

Students will also engage in service learning activities in which they apply knowledge and skills to community needs, putting an equal emphasis on both service and learning. An example of service learning would be growing a garden to apply what was learned about ecosystems, plant life and human collaboration. The garden’s produce could then be shared with area food banks.

This type of active “learning by doing” activity allows students to experience the positive impact that their learning and collaborative efforts can have on the community. According to Superintendent J. Richard Thomas, “Service learning readily incorporates our faith and enables students to live out our mission: Centered in Christ, Transforming Lives, Changing our World.”

We are excited because we believe it will provide our students with the academic, problem solving and relational skills that both colleges and businesses are seeking. On top of this, it will happen in a values-laden environment shaped by Christian faith.