Experiential Learning in ML


Immersion offers our Middle Learning students the opportunity to dive deep into one specific topic for a week. Click the Immersion 2021 button for more info!

Outdoor Education

Near the beginning of the school year, each Middle Learning grade heads to a different part of North Carolina. Students engage in a number of activities which stretch them both physically and mentally and center around academic connections, developing life skills, and team building. Students return with strengthened relationships, a new awareness of their world, and an understanding that learning can happen anywhere.

5th grade Outdoor Education
Goal: Team Building

5th graders roasting marshmallows at  Outdoor Education camp

Fifth-grade students leave for their outdoor adventure at Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, North Carolina. This offers an opportunity for students and teachers to establish relationships while supporting and encouraging one another during challenging tasks such as rock climbing, exploring the waterfront, and completing a low ropes course. Students are introduced to the fifth-grade theme, “Choose Compassion,” and begin to explore this idea through a variety of hands-on activities. More wonderful memories are made while playing in the lake, handling creepy crawly critters, practicing yoga, archery, and more!

6th grade Outdoor Education
Goal: Science Orientation

6th grade students exploring a river at Outdoor Education campThe sixth-grade trip begins with rafting down the Nantahala River. Once students are back on land they head to Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, North Carolina for hands-on science activities blended with community-building and adventure activities. Students explore watersheds from a canoe, peer at aquatic species collected from a cascading stream under a microscope, and study the energy cycle while hiking in the forest. Classes are designed to weave experiential learning and science instruction for students to more effectively retain the information they are learning in science class. Designing a successful egg drop, swimming in the lake, and riding the waterslide will make this trip as fun as it is educational.

7th grade Outdoor Education
Goal: 21st Century Skills

7th grade student rock climbing at Outdoor Education campUpon arrival to Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, North Carolina, students are split into teams of 10–12 classmates and a teacher. In these teams, students will be challenged with fun, team building activities. The weekend helps students practice communication skills that are essential for building community. After strengthening their team through challenges, they spend the night outdoors where they reflect on their personal development and their contributions to the team. Each activity is led by two trained instructors who guide students to encourage group growth and individual awareness.

8th grade Outdoor Education
Goal: Backcountry Camping and Hiking

8th grade students backpacking during Outdoor Education campUpon arrival to Pisgah National Forest, the eighth graders learn outdoor skills, hike through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country for three days, discover the flora and fauna of the forest ecosystem, and much more! While immersed in nature’s classroom, students learn other valuable lessons too: practicing communication through daily “evening circles”; critical thinking as “leader of the day”; collaboration while setting up camp and cooking meals; problem-solving through fun team-building games; and kindness while forming a close-knit community. They may be stretched beyond their comfort zone but will return home having experienced many tremendous growth moments.