Students at The College School never sit in class and wonder: “When will I use this in real life?”

At The College School, students learn by going off campus, collaborating with experts, and creating solutions to real-world problems. We don’t teach to the test, drill worksheets, or learn content just for the sake of doing so. Instead, students master physics by designing and building their own roller coasters or learn financial literacy by starting their own businesses.

Students explore the world through authentic experiences. Along the way, they are part of a close-knit community that allows them to be who they are and to use their voice. It’s no wonder students love coming to school.

“At The College School, I learned that caring about the environment is a lifelong task and one that is paramount. I learned that I have the agency to enact change no matter the barriers. I learned that it is important to stand up for your peers and care about those in your community.”

Grace Wagner, Class of 2015

This week’s #FacultyFriday spotlight is Associate Director of Sustainability and Auxiliary Programs, Max Bruch! Max is in his fourth year at TCS and served as ASP Supervisor and substitute teacher before beginning his current role in 2019. Originally from the Seattle area, Max came to the Midwest to attend Principia College, graduating in 2017 with degrees in Educational Studies and Philosophy. In his free time, he enjoys swing dancing, video games, playing soccer, outdoor excursions, and spending time with friends and family. >>Tell us all about the great things kids get to do in the greenhouse and gardens? Greenhouse and Gardens play a significant role in connecting students with the natural world. We are focusing on growing food in the gardens with a long-term goal of supplementing the kitchen lunch program and working with Chef Monica and her team. This fall, students helped tend several beds of vegetables and greens like radishes, spinach, swiss chard, kale, and kohlrabi. They helped with watering, pest control, and harvesting. I think everyone's favorite part is harvesting and eating. It's definitely mine! I'm a big fan of exploration and experimentation. It is fun chopping up a radish and letting kids (especially young ones) try something potentially new. Some clamor for more while others spit it out immediately and ask to go eat something else they prefer. This is all part of the adventure. We also experiment with other ways of growing plants, like propagating succulents and spider plants. I encourage student-led experimentation and exploration that goes beyond just growing plants. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, this often involves water. It's really exciting to see a student or students have an idea and then engage in the process of working to accomplish it, witnessing that idea develop, expand, or change along the way. That's science right there, with maybe a little bit of guidance from time to time. We also get to just enjoy the natural outdoor space around us, whether that's playing around the greenhouse, digging in the soil and looking for worms and other bugs (sometimes mud is involved too), or just being around nature.

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