Learning By Doing

Brandis Friedman & Kristen Thometz :

Students at a Northwest Chicago magnet school are getting unique lessons in building everything from robots in the first grade to websites in the eighth grade.

It’s all part of a blended learning model that merges technology with education, and it’s helping students get the most of out of a longer school day.

“We invented them, we were the first ones,” said 6-year-old David Somers.

The 6-year-olds at Wildwood World Magnet School may not have actually invented robots, but their teachers say they’re glad they think they did.

“Then you put the battery on. Tape it on with electric tape,” Somers said. “You’ll need wires. Clip those on battery.”

Taking ownership of their learning is central to the experience at this kindergarten through eighth grade school in Chicago’s Forest Glen neighborhood.