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The MS Baldwin Bandit Challenge
Posted 01/12/2018 10:59AM

Three days before winter break Baldwin's Middle School held its third annual interdisciplinary experiential learning event. The students tapped into their creative problem-solving skills to collaborate across grades to tackle eight different design challenges.Previous themes included the "It's Not Easy Being Green" scenario focused on environmental issues and the "Baldwin Survival Challenge" focused on response to natural disasters. This year, based on student feedback, a group of Middle School teachers developed Baldwin's third all-MS experiential learning experience, "The MS Baldwin Bandit Challenge," in a mystery format. The students worked in their design squads (mixed grade homerooms) to test their strategic thinking, communication and collaborative skills by completing a set of eight activities over a two-day period, including:

  • solving a complex puzzle box
  • translating and interpreting coded maps
  • conducting forensic examination of an actual skeleton
  • sifting through buried artifacts for clues
  • modeling investigative techniques using online resources
  • constructing surveillance robots
  • solving problems through computer coding and
  • expressing their artistic skills as sketch artists.
  • As the design squads completed each activity, students assembled clues that together revealed the identity of the mysterious figure known only as the "Baldwin Bandit." The winning homeroom — Mrs. Lapinski's homeroom — was able to unravel the mystery with the most evidence to support their conclusion and were recognized as the top sleuths in this year's third annual Baldwin MS experiential learning event! As for the "Baldwin Bandit" — it was Ms. Kelly Zemaitis, an inside job!

    Thanks to the creative efforts of designers Dr. Bunn, Ms. Epstein, Mr. Liliholt, Ms. Doherty, Ms. Heimann, Ms. Brown, Ms. Burke and Ms. Zemaitis, the "Baldwin Bandit Challenge" was certainly a fun way to spend the last three days before break. More importantly, this innovative learning experience engaged every girl in different ways, while promoting collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking around a common focus—something we try to do every day in the Middle School.

    See photos from the MS Baldwin Bandit Challenge here.

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