Sandys Middle School teams up with Maine school in e-world project
As boat building has been a vital and exciting facet of Bermuda's history from the earliest days of its settlement 400 years ago, it is interesting to note how faculty students and school board members of Sandys Secondary Middle School (SSMS) have embarked on E-World project that has tremendous local and international impact.
Technology as we noted has reduced the world to a global village enabling an exchange of positive experiences far and wide. So it is exciting seeing SSMS extending its hand of friendship not only from Somerset to St George's, but now reaching Maine on the eastern seaboard of the United States. A fortnight ago at a special morning assembly in which the school's Board of Governors and the Principal acknowledged their school's partnership with Washington Academy, a Maine Independent High School.
Although one school is a Middle School and the other is a High School there is definitely common ground between the two when it comes to teaching philosophies and techniques. The English department heads of the two schools met and have agreed to have some of their students engage in a Pen Pal/Skype Programme.
This will allow the teachers to share proven teaching strategies via Skype when they have non-instructional time and at designated times they can allow the students on either side of the Atlantic Ocean briefly engage in open conversation and share facets of their culture.
This academic year Sandys is incorporating a boat-building programme. Various schools along the East Coast of the United States are successfully using sixth, seventh and eighth graders in similar programmes. The boats that the students will be building this year will become Dry Land Opti Simulators that are currently being used in Bermuda's Water Wise Programme which has proven to be extremely successful. Washington Academy has been teaching boat building for some 30 years and has already allowed one of its members of staff to visit Bermuda and help to get the Somerset Programme up and running.
Sandys Secondary Middle School is also breaking new ground by introducing an Aquaculture Programme this school year. They intend to allow some of their students to be taught how to grow fish in tanks on the school's campus. This is another area where these two schools can engage in collaboration. Washington Academy has been raising a certain native salmon which has fallen into the endangered species category. While the Maine school releases their fish into the wild Sandys will raise its fish to become table fare.