Sixth Grade Students to Create Enrichment Solutions for Austin Zoo’s Rescue Animals

ARS is determined to change the narrative. As the only 6th-12th grade school in the Austin Independent School District where STEM is a rule and not an exception for every student, ARS is preparing today’s female students to become tomorrow’s STEM leaders.

Thanks to a grant from All Points North Foundation, our 6th graders start the school year with the “Modeling the Zoo Project.” The project involves the entire 6th grade class as they research and create enrichment solutions for rescue animals at the Austin Zoo. Our Stars use the MakerSpace to develop their design and building skills using technology and power tools. The Zoo Project launches students into the project-based, Maker education model that is centered on collaborative, hands-on learning and is inherent throughout ARS.

“This project provides underserved youth with not only the opportunity but inspiration to connect campus to an important cause,” said Laura Staich, Executive Director, All Points North Foundation. “Research shows investment in education innovation will prepare students to be successful in high school, college, and the working world.”

ARS staff will also attend their first Project-Based Learning World Conference to learn and share best practices as they prepare curriculum and formalize the Maker model from idea generation through the final product. Throughout the year, an interactive display board will provide visual insights into the stages of the project, emphasizing “process over product.”