Students in Mr. Hardy’s 7th Grade Math Class were provided an authentic learning experience. Students were offered three projects to explore:


  1. Given the opportunity, how would you redesign our school’s cafeteria space to improve traffic flow and the overall atmosphere?
  2. What would you propose to do with the vacant space encompassed by our community walking path and the upper level ball fields to create meaningful/useful space for the school and community as a whole?
  3. The PTO/Student Council is considering hosting a carnival type event and is accepting game proposals to be used as fundraisers for the school activities which they fund. What would your game entail and what are the expected profits the PTO/Student Council can expect if they accept your game proposal and include it in your carnival?


For each project option, students were expected to create a project proposal as well as a presentation to an authentic audience. The audience members included School Board members, FWSU Administrators, GEMS Administration and local community members.


Along with the math content, students’ projects, proposals and presentations highlighted Vermont’s Transferable Skills of clear and effective communication:

  1. Demonstrate organized and purposeful communication
  2. Demonstrate effective, expressive and receptive communication, including oral, written, multi-media, and performance
  3. Collaborate effectively and respectfully

The following are examples of students’ proposals:





In all, there were fifteen projects.  Most of the students chose to do a redesign of our cafeteria, outdoor classrooms or a food to plate project.

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