Endeavor's Future-Ready Experience

Endeavor Turns Tradition Upside Down for Future-Ready Experience
Posted on 10/24/2018
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students looking at bell tower at Miami University When the sixth grade teaching team at Endeavor Elementary was seeking a future-ready experience for their students, they looked no further than one of the school’s longest standing traditions - an annual field trip to Camp Kern.


“We owe it to our students to go beyond field trips that build community and emphasize teamwork to experiences that really push them to think about their futures,” said Endeavor Principal Andrea Blevins.


The team found that combination in a new partnership with Miami University, which replaced Camp Kern this year and hosted the school’s 200 sixth-graders on an extended day trip to Oxford’s campus on Oct. 5. Activities like the high ropes course allowed students to practice soft skills like collaboration and teamwork, while a campus tour uncovered so many other seemingly menial, but important discoveries.


“I think their biggest takeaway was thinking of life beyond being a student - and the fact that they will get to make their own choices and pave their own way,” Blevins said. Simple questions ranging from cars on campus and job options to dorm life and the logistics of changing classes helped students foresee the decisions and responsibility that comes with independence.


Sixth-grader Saumya Goel was intimidated by the responsibility factor, but also intrigued by concepts like choosing your own classes and class times and having to be respectful of your roommate’s space. “I know I want to be an architect,” she added. “And this whole experience made me think about how I was going to do that.”


Blevins also noted the value in a panel that combined Miami professors with six current students who were all Lakota graduates. “They talked about what it’s like to grow up in West Chester and then come to Oxford. It was a great way for them to see themselves in a current college student,” she said.


“I thought about college and where I might want to go,” said sixth-grader Grant Beerman. “I had never thought about that before.”


Blevins stressed that the experience was a valuable one, regardless of how college does or doesn’t fit into one’s future. Even so, recognizing that college isn’t the only track to success, she and her team are considering a continuation of the trip in the form of a career-ready day to help students more clearly see that path as an option, too.


A secondary benefit to the change was the expansion of the chaperone pool from just teachers to parents, too. Blevins said it was a great way to involve parents in the future-ready discussion.


Click here to view the complete gallery of photos from the Miami trip on Endeavor’s Facebook page.