Year 5. Session 1. Week 2.

With just one week under their belts, learners faced great challenges and blazed new trails. The second-week experience encompassed an introduction to the Montessori Work Cycle, the Tech Challenge, and further exploration into team-building exercises.

Monday morning Discovery went digital! As the world of technology opened, Discoverers found that epic freedoms bring mighty responsibilities. Before diving into online learning, every member of the Studio must complete the Tech Challenge. A week-long pursuit leads learners through basic computer operations and maintenance as well as guidelines for safe internet use. Completing this challenge earns the privilege to begin or resume the journey of virtual education programs.

Simultaneously, learners took the first steps into the world of Montessori works. This introduction contained a careful analysis of the cycle and an in-depth exploration of materials. During the second week, the Studio explored language and math works to familiarize themselves with the Montessori process. Working in Squads, Discoverers probed into the subject of endangered and extinct animals; a topic curated with the interests of current Travelers in mind. These materials represent a brave new avenue for learning enrichment. In the words of Maria Montessori, “Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”

Team-building games found further evolution this week. Take a glimpse into three activities intended to unite the Tribe.

The Blindfold Relay was a test of communication, coordination, and trust. The Studio was split into two teams and huddled briefly with their group to devise an approach. One person at a time navigated through an obstacle course containing hula hoop chains, bean bag sorting, staggered cones, and number organization; all while being completely blindfolded. Both teams employed ingenious auditory cues to lead the way. Success in this challenge was dependent on the strength of each non-seeing member’s listening skills and the collective instruction of those who could see. Post-game reflection was centered on what it means to depend on the guidance of others to follow a path you have yet to discover.

Later in the week, the Studio took to the stars. Crossing the Galaxy proved to be a game with a simple set-up but a daunting execution. Learners started in a single file line. The first astronaut held eight paper plates and stood at the edge of the galaxy. Plates represented space stations, points of safety to stand upon. Any person who lost contact with a station drifted into the cosmos and out of the game. Any station that lost contact with a person floated away to the same fate. Many strategies were theorized, tested, and tweaked until each team found a system to cross the galaxy.


The Bridge Challenge is a classic in Discovery. Using only thirty popsicle sticks and one roll of tape, each Squad was tasked with creating a suspension bridge between two chairs. The bridge had to measure at least thirteen inches in length. With only twenty minutes to work, this challenge was a true test of planning, cooperation, and building. Once construction time came to a close, the contest commenced. All bridges were tested under increasing weight in the form of marbles, coins, and books. Learners gathered to spectate the contest and participate in the judging process.


Finally, Friday afternoon, Discovery hosted Spark and Explore Studios for the Hero’s Talent Show: a showcase of the vast passions among learners. Days of planning and rehearsal culminated in a series of fourteen phenomenal talents. This showing required a tremendous amount of courage on account of the performers. Sparks and Explorers were commended for their encouraging, inclusive audience participation. Acts included dance routines, poetry recitations, comedy skits, and many more!


Through peaks and valleys, Travelers remained brave. This week the Studio learned to dance in the rain and by all means the future looks bright!