Tesseract Students Take On The World —One Social Issue At A Time

Upper and Middle School students at Tesseract School are challenged to think not just outside of the box, but also outside of the country.

Each year, for over a decade, these students visit different geographical areas and the world of globalization and social responsibility come to life. Each trip is designed to take the students away from Arizona to explore a particular set of social issues somewhere else, together. The class trips nurture the students’ natural awareness of their identity and support the understanding of their roles in society.

The Spring 2015 trips included Italy, Peru, China, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Costa Rica.

Jason Leonard, Tesseract upper school educator, said his class was immediately inspired when they landed in Beijing while connecting with the culture. His class had a chance to experience first-hand many elements of the Chinese culture.

“Whether it was learning about ancient Chinese history or seeing the economic bustle of 王府井 Street, students now have a broader appreciation for the language and culture they have been studying for two and a half years,” Leonard says.

In fifth grade, students travel to various locations in the San Francisco Bay area, including Chinatown and the YMCA Point Bonita, where they apply their knowledge of the Chinese culture and learn to become active stewards of the environment within their own communities.

Sustainability is explored from a different angle as sixth grade travels to the headquarters of Heifer International in Little Rock, Arkansas. Students learn about global resources and sustainability through farming.

Seventh grade students travel to Boston and Washington D.C. to visit and explore key historical landmarks from the 17th century colonial times throughout the Independence Period to the modern day.

Studies in eighth grade science focus on sustainability and biodiversity. They travel to Costa Rica to visit local schools and villages, organic farms, rainforests and the San Gerardo Biological Center. They also practice their Spanish in real­life conversations.

Ninth grade students extend their learning of the biological sciences with a two-week trip to Hawaii. Designed and led by their biology teacher, this trip is an opportunity for students to apply their classroom and lab learning in a real environment.

For tenth graders, the trip serves as the culmination of the students’ two years of study in the history, literature, and geopolitics of Europe—from the rise of the Greeks to the start of the Industrial Revolution. This year, students traveled to Italy. Highlights of the trip are a visit to the Vatican, the Roman Colosseum, Il Duomo and the Pantheon, to name a few.

The eleventh grade trip focuses on Tesseract’s second­language curriculum. Students studying Mandarin visit China; students studying Spanish visit Peru. Tesseract’s second language program has capitalized on the school’s commitment to technology by developing a co­curriculum with schools in Shanghai, China and Cusco, Peru.

Maddy Anseth, Tesseract eleventh grade student of Phoenix, was grateful for the opportunity to travel to Peru and learn more about what the different cultures have to offer society. She said, “This year’s class trip to Peru was by far the most amazing opportunity Tesseract has offered. The relationships built with the La Salle students and their families meant so much. I know I will never forget the meaningful memories and experiences we had together.”

For Kenny Cunninghan, Tesseract eleventh grade student of Phoenix, just being in a culturally diverse city was eye opening. He said, “This trip is something that none of us will ever forget. We all agreed that this was a life changing experience and really shows how great our school is. China is a very fascinating place; we learned that even in different parts of the world we all have the same lives. This will forever be the trip of a lifetime.”

About Tesseract School

Tesseract School prepares students to excel in college and beyond, lead lives of purpose, and become ethical and compassionate citizens with a global perspective. Tesseract’s innovative educational approach engages students to master the basics, delve deeper, become critical thinkers and prepares students for their future. As a non­profit, independent private school for students from age two through grade 12, resources are directed to recruit and retain outstanding educators to continually enhance the school’s two campuses in Phoenix and Paradise Valley. For more information, visit www.tesseractschool.org.

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