The MS 447 Exploration Program

The Exploration experience provides our students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on, minds-on research in selected topics. Through their individual and group work, students will collaboratively construct knowledge while journeying through the steps of problem solving. The experience allows students to apply the skills and content acquired from all subject areas to the investigation of real life issues.

The Exploration courses are an important part of our students’ academic program, and active participation and attendance on Exploration days is mandatory. Each student will be expected to maintain a journal designed exclusively for Exploration research.  Those journals will be collected at the end of each Exploration day and stored in the classroom for the next week’s use.


MS 447 Exploration Core Values:

On-Site and Off-Site Learning

Each unit aims to provide students with real-life understanding of the unit’s topics and themes by including relevant trips which offer opportunities for field learning, such as parks, museums, local businesses, and cultural institutions. We also include visits from guest speakers, who are experts in their field and/or can offer a unique or authentic perspective on the topic.

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is an integral part of Exploration culture, as seen by students relying on each other for information and knowledge and actively/appropriately engaged.  

Addresses Diverse Learning Styles

Recognition that all students learn in different ways.

Tiering & Accommodation

Tiering or Accommodation is supported and upheld by appropriate observation and documentation of need. It is also reflective of individual learning styles and/or needs and is flexible and when possible, temporary.

Coherence (Curriculum)

Each unit has an overarching aim/focus that address real-world issues.

Inquiry & Student Driven Learning

We are committed to providing inquiry based lessons and units, in which students are given autonomy in solving real-world problems and questions.

Authentic Assessments

Assessments provide choice and flexibility to address a range of learning styles and abilities. Further, these assessments allow students to critically engage with the unit question in a range of ways.

Social Justice

Our assessments allow students to critically engage in issues of social justice as it pertains to the unit topics. Students will use the content and skills that they have learned to analyze these issues.


The Exploration program will occur for each grade in cycles:

Cycle 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade
Fall Food For Thought Skyscrapers Forensics
Winter Sustainable City Planning Forensics Perception
Spring Water Stewardship Inventions Service Learning