Between Thanksgiving and winter break, students in the middle school embark on DCD's Mini-term curriculum, which is designed to allow students to dive into specific subjects in science and humanities in a deep and focused way. For this three-week period, the daily schedule changes to allow for longer class periods where more focused discussions, research, and project work can take place.
In Science, Grade 6 students pose a question or hypothesis about a science related topic of their choosing and then devise their own experiments for testing, analyzing and presenting. Grade 7 students are working on a robotics unit designing, building and programming with Lego Mindstorm. Utilizing their study of simple machines from their curriculum in the fall, Grade 8 students parlay their knowledge into designing, constructing, and testing their own complex machines. These machine creations are required to complete a task independent of human intervention!
In Humanities, DCD’s History and English faculty collaborate to team teach a combined and impactful curriculum for each middle school grade. "I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzae serves as the centerpiece for the 6th grade humanities theme of activism. Grade 7 students are introduced to the Civil Rights Movement through a survey of events and discussions. And leveraging what they learned from the previous year, Grade 8 students narrow their focus on the Civil Rights Movement with a study of the Little Rock Nine and the desegregation of Central High School.
Just before winter break dismissal, mini-term culminates with a Science Expo where middle school students have an opportunity to showcase and share their project work with their parents and lower school students. Math and foreign language classes continue as normal.