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Experiential Learning

Siena provides first-hand experiences to make learning come alive. Regular field trips directly enhance the classroom curriculum. Through active participation and experience our students are provided with an ideal learning environment for inquiry and discovery. Hands-on learning or learning by doing, is one of the most powerful learning tools for our students and provides the means for the students to access the curriculum through their senses.
 
Siena students take cross-curricular field trips throughout the year, including:
  • Many local art museums, theaters and musical venues (e.g. a middle school trip to see Synetic Theater’s movement-based version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night after reading the play and acting out scenes in the classroom);
  • Supreme Court of the United States to hear oral arguments in addition to visits with former clerks of Supreme Court justices to prepare for High School Mock Trial;
  • Smithsonian Preservation Department with English and history classes to discuss the preservation of artifacts and the importance of objects to our understanding of history;
  • Baltimore Shock Trauma Center to see real-life applications of the sciences and learn about medical career paths from nurses and doctors;
  • National Cryptologic Museum to further understand code making and breaking in WWII and Vietnam;
  • National Zoo to examine organisms interacting with their various environments in connection with a unit on ecology;
  • Gettysburg Battle Site and National Park, Pennsylvania to bring historical events of the Civil War to life;
  • Washington Capitals practice facility with physical education classes to observe and discuss the importance of teamwork and communication both in and out of athletics;
  • Holocaust Museum in connection with reading Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl; and
  • Washington Car Show with the Elementary Makers class to see first-hand what makes a vehicle fast, how to use the fewest number of materials, and what the large-scale costs are in order to inform the students’ own vehicle design process in class.
Students also participate in hands-on learning such as:
  • Earth Day clean-up in the Siena neighborhood
  • Annual two-week High school internships

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