Involving students in hands-on learning, problem solving, and applications of knowledge in real-life settings helps increase academic achievement. As part of the School’s Strategic Plan, Barnesville has developed ongoing partnerships with local nonprofit and business organizations in order to help our students make connections with the local community and world at large. These partnerships serve to strengthen instruction in academic skills and to enrich the educational process. Not only are we able to bring scientists and artists to Barnesville, we bring Barnesville’s students to their facilities, stages, and laboratories so that they may best learn from these experts. Enrichment opportunities like these benefit students in building new skills, forming new interests and increasing self-confidence. These hands-on experiences make for meaningful lessons that are remembered for years.
The following is a list of organizations with which Barnesville has partnered:
- BlackRock Center for the Arts – a cultural, visual, and performing arts center in Germantown. Past activities have included the creation of a mobile for BlackRock’s 10th anniversary with sculptor/actor Kevin Reese, and the development of an original dance with ClancyWorks Dance Company. Most recently, Barnesville eighth graders and art students from a public Middle School participated in a joint art exhibit, Converging, hosted by BlackRock.
- Brickyard Educational Farm – a Potomac nonprofit striving to improve the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the practice and teaching of sustainable agriculture. Students work with staff members to grow and harvest local crops, as well as learn about seed saving and storage.
- GeneDx – a genetic testing and diagnosis company in Gaithersburg that serves families suffering from severe hereditary disorders. As part of our classroom studies on genetics, students learn from scientists at GeneDx how research on genetics can help save the lives of those with rare genetic conditions.
- Poolesville High School Global Ecology Magnet Program – Our students have partnered with high school seniors to create reef balls for Chesapeake Bay oysters, giving the oysters a habitat and ultimately helping the oyster population in the Bay to flourish.
- Kingsbury’s Orchard – a 100-year-old orchard in Dickerson producing apples, peaches, pears, and other fruit. Each Wednesday in the fall, students enjoy apples from the orchard as a healthy local snack, and learn about the importance of locally-sourced food. Barnesville’s youngest students also visit Kingsbury’s Orchard for a tour of the facilities.
- OriGene – a biology company in Rockville dedicated to the creation of genome-wide reagents in support of research and clinical diagnostics. For the 2013-2014 school year, students will be furthering their understanding of genetics with a visit to the laboratory and question-and-answer sessions with OriGene’s scientists.