Discovery Day Academy’s curriculum model, The Discovery Method, was name a Pacesetter project in Lego Foundation’s Re-Imagine Learning Challenge. The project based learning model provides teachers with a method to implement 21st century learning in their classrooms, supporting the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity). The Discovery Method was authored by the academy’s founder Elizabeth Garcia. It is supported by eight years of empirical research in multiple school sites, located in rural and urban settings.
Lego Foundation’s Re-Imagine Learning Challenge was open to participants around the globe, with challenge entries totaling 622 projects. The Lego foundation believes; In the face of critical and complex challenges that children and young people need to better develop creativity, imaginative problem-solving, teamwork, empathy, and inspiration so they can step into leadership roles in pursuit of purpose.
“We are honored to have been selected as a pacesetter in the challenge. Our model focuses on developing learning dispositions, beyond the acquisition of skills and facts. Children are encouraged to create and innovate, in a hands-on environment where they are the center of the learning process,” said Garcia. “I look forward to the future publication of the model, to provide a tool for implementing 21st century learning in classrooms globally”.
Discovery Day Academy will proceed to the next round of the challenge. Ultimately the Lego Foundation will choose ten challenge champions, providing $200,000 to fund the wide-spread development of each project.
Discovery Day Academy engages its students in meaningful learning through The Discovery Method. The school also observes a makers philosophy, with a focus on innovation and creativity through DIY materials and technology. A new 21st century campus will open in fall 2015, providing programs for children in PreK3-5th grades. The campus will include a digital media center, culinary classroom and makerspace studio.