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MicroSociety Helps Kids Learn More Effectively

Children build an imaginary society using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills during Project Launch Newton.

The STEM City at Project Launch Newton is based on the MicroSociety framework, which emphasizes that kids learn best by doing. Children create an environment that motivates them to learn and demonstrates the connections between the classroom and real life.

The creation of a STEM City encourages sophisticated thinking skills to be developed through hands-on, project-based, real-world activities. The program allows children to apply the academic skills learned during school to fun activities, and promotes financial literacy, civic engagement, entrepreneurial education and a commitment to community service.

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A real world context is provided for daily tutoring and homework assistance based on regular communication with classroom teachers. As citizens of a society created by themselves, children are involved in daily academic enrichment which connects learning to business, the legal system, conservation, energy, cultural events, and more. Students become responsible, caring productive citizens of a community of their own design.

Building an entire society inside Project Launch Newton offers parents and community members many opportunities to volunteer. Because it is a functioning society, individual success depends on the knowledge and skills children develop as they pursue jobs and other roles in their imaginary community. With the involvement of parents and community leaders, the miniature society helps to cultivate career aspirations and important skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, initiative and innovation. The youngsters then pass along these skills as they interact with their peers on a daily basis.

The MicroSociety® program is a cutting-edge elementary and middle school model through which students apply academic skills as citizens in a society of their own design. The students learn, work and manage their microcosm of the real world—as legislators, peer mediators, business owners, bankers, attorneys, community service-minded leaders, floating teachers, and many other occupations. The business ventures and government agencies provide the context for real world curriculum connections throughout the day. The MicroSociety program has helped dozens of schools dramatically increase student motivation, improve discipline, meet high academic standards and boost test scores and attendance.

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This project was funded in its entirety with federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant funds through a grant agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education.

To Contact Project Launch Newton, call Project Self-Sufficiency at 973-940-3500 or email pln@projectselfsufficiency.org.
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