The Countryside Cambridge Academy culminated its first semester project with a mock election on December 22nd, at which time voters could voice their opinions as to which improvement projects should be recommended as additions to the City of Surprise.
"Citizenship in Surprise," as the project was known, involved students assessing Surprise's current strengths as a city, as well as aspects of Surprise that could be improved upon. Each student generated an improvement idea to pursue. Among the ideas chosen were recreational centers, shopping malls, cancer treatment facilities, animal shelter and training facilities, rehabilitation centers, parks designed for folks with disabilities, colleges, and much more. Students conducted a cost analysis of their project, as well as a tax plan to generate the needed funds from voters. They wrote editorials to convince citizens of the needs and benefits of their project, and used digital modeling computer programs to create professional floor plans that highlighted their project's main features. They designed safety protocols for their facilities, including fire evacuation plans, and built physical models to display at the public viewing.
In the spirit of the holidays, each cross-grade level team of five students, grades 6-8, expressed their creativity in the form of a ginger bread house welcome center for their five proposed facilities that incorporated each of their projects' themes into the overall design of the welcome center. Fifth and 6th grade Countryside students, along with teachers, administrators and Cambridge Academy parents participated in the event, which included a silent auction, as well as the guests casting their ballots to determine the overall project winners. Silent auction proceeds will be used to award the top teams for their success.
The Cambridge Academy at Countryside is a program suited for academically advanced and motivated students who thrive on a faster pace to their learning, along with unique experiences such as this to enhance their overall educational experience, technology, collaboration and presentation skills