Monthly Administrative Updates

April 2024 Administrative Update

William Roberts, High School Principal

by William Roberts
High School Principal

Experiential Learning Opportunities at EAHS

Experiential learning and hands-on learning are vital components of a current high school education, offering students opportunities to engage actively with the material they're learning. With this approach, we see students who are engaged and motivated to learn; students are bridging the gap between classroom learning and the real world; they are developing critical thinking skills; there is more collaboration and communication; and students are personalizing their education. I would like to take the opportunity to provide you with an update on two of our newest experiential learning opportunities at EAHS. 

The EAHS Sustainable Agriculture program is approaching the end of its inaugural year. If you have passed our campus on Sweet Road, you will see that we have completed the initial infrastructure and outbuildings needed for the program over the long term. This includes a shed, fencing, a high tunnel greenhouse, and site work. In addition to constructing the farm, our students have been composting, participating in farm and food-related field trips, doing book studies, and hosting numerous guest speakers. The agriculture activities so far this year have included the production, marketing, and sales of pasture-raised broiler chickens and egg-laying chickens. This spring, with the support of the East Aurora Educational Foundation, our students will start their SUSTAIN Projects (Students Understanding Sustainability Through Agriculture Initiatives and Networking). Throughout the winter months, nine student-led groups worked with local experts in various agriculture subjects developing projects that will be implemented into the course curriculum.  These projects will help further develop the Sustainable Agriculture program this spring and into the future. The student SUSTAIN Projects will include bees, herbs, and spices; a Christmas tree farm; greens; vegetable seedlings; a pollinator garden; fruit and nut trees; and strawberries. The addition of these projects will enable the students to experience the benefits of experiential learning district-wide. The projects will allow us to expand the student-led production, marketing, and sale of agricultural products, enhance the connection with food service PreK–12, develop a farm-to-school program, and strengthen our connection with our community partners. If you are interested in visiting the Sustainable Agriculture Farm or in need of vegetable seedlings, please stop by the open house during the District Art & Technology Show on May 20th. 

Blue Devil Design (BDD), our student-led business, is wrapping up their small engine service for the season and will continue repairing and selling snow blowers and lawnmowers as they become operable. The students have been hard at work designing Mother's Day gifts that will be available for sale to the EAHS students beginning April 29–May 10th. Although they have increased their scope of business to include small engine sales and service, BDD is still holding true to their mission of "Student designed with you in mind." The students have completed several bulk orders for tumblers, water bottles, earrings, coasters, stickers, etc. for local businesses and have been working diligently on graduation sashes that will be debuting at the Class or 2024 graduation ceremony this year. A team of students will be presenting our BDD business at the Students to Startups Business Pitch Contest on April 25th, and our BDD students will be hosting a table at both the Be a Hero Career Fair at Highmark Stadium on April 17th and a Meet the Maker table at the Co-op on April 19th! We will miss our seniors who have developed design skills, small engine knowledge, social media expertise, accounting experience, maker space production, and management skills. BDD is excited to see how our first-year students step up and how the new students entering the class find their niche in the company. Thank you to all who have supported BDD this year, and we look forward to continued success next year!

Overall, experiential and hands-on learning experiences provide high school students with valuable opportunities to engage deeply with their education, develop essential skills, and prepare for future success. By incorporating these approaches into the curriculum, educators can create dynamic and enriching learning experiences that inspire students to become lifelong learners. EAHS thanks our students, teachers, the Board of Education, the East Aurora Educational Foundation, and the greater community for supporting our curriculum!