My Friday morning journey to Capital City Public Charter School (PCS) was filled with transit catastrophes and rainy weather, but when I entered the school, all negativity melted away when I was met with a warm atmosphere and welcoming faculty. The school building itself is massive, since all grades learn in the same building, but a student named Avery was sweet enough to walk me to my starting point of the tour. Capital City uses a hands-on learning approach, which is evident by the project-based learning model implemented in all classrooms. In fact, expeditionary learning is quite literally built into the framework of the school because in 2011, the seventh and eighth grade students created and published goal books for environmentally friendly buildings and presented their findings to the school board. Students really do become advocates, an initiative that is important to the social curriculum of character development that Capital City PCS values.
Throughout my tour, I saw the hands-on learning approach put into action with projects starting with preschoolers learning about ants, up to high school students presenting research on healthy lifestyles. Research, fieldwork, and findings were all posted on the walls of the school and students were participating in curriculum based on that topic. In a fifth grade classroom I sat in on, they were discussing their unit about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and they were highlighting important points and making comprehensive explanations for younger grades. They also reflected on their “Day Without Rights” experience and spoke about how laws were important in order to cultivate a safe and free society. At Capital City, in order for students to move onto middle school and later, graduation, they must present a packet of lessons they have learned to