LIBERTY – One of Liberty High School’s newest programs, EDGE, adapts the microschool concept to give students of all levels a chance to work on a variety of real-world problems.
EDGE is rooted in humanitarian causes. Real-world problems are at the center of learning. Rather than separating subjects into lesson periods, learning from each subject is woven together to enable learners to understand how math, science, social studies, English and more apply to world issues. real.
The microschool started last semester. One class, “Empowering World Experience Discovery”, focuses on a TeleSquad of the World Brigades. Squads Abound President Erik Werner said schools are looking for an international education. Initially, the program sought to develop and operate in-country delivery, he said.
“When the pandemic hit, the groups were no longer able to descend, but creating a virtual model worked, so the TeleSquads,” Werner said. “The virtual program still allows the EDGE student program to work.”
The students in Serena Comegys class have found their community in Honduras.
“The goal is world leadership,” Werner said. “The other benefits are gaining that empathy and becoming a global citizen. They learn to apply STEM and health education. It’s about making a difference in the classroom if they can see a real-world experience. It’s a win-win proposition.
Liberty High students took care of the needs of a small village in Honduras, including access to health care and clean water. Werner said local students support in-country teams and gain insight into what developing countries need.
“These students may want to study health, engineering, global entrepreneurship in college,” he said. “There are countless benefits and cross-cultural empathy.”
The students also learned about Kiva loans, which can be used for the small community of 48 households in El Caragual. Kiva funds loans for borrowers in over 80 countries who are financially excluded and cannot access other fair and affordable sources of credit. Kiva borrowers work in many industries, including farmers, artisans, students, merchants, builders or restaurants. The loan must be repaid.
Jose Alvarez, the in-country facilitator, chatted with local students via Zoom.
“You’re all helping the community take baby steps,” he said.
Senior William Pierce said the first two sessions were full of information, but once they presented residents and leaders with a community survey, it started to make sense as they created an action plan who can help Hondurans.
Senior Patrick Sheeley said he could see real applications of what he was learning locally.
“We solve problems,” he said. “We were able to collaborate with our classmates as well as those around the world.”
“It’s really inspiring to watch these young adults tackle big issues,” Comegys said. “They engaged in this community and they found a passion and possible careers to jump into the world.”
Pierce said the chance to see the leaders via Zoom meant a lot.
“Although they are underserved, they want to improve their world,” he said. “That first meeting made it real.”
Elder Andrew Letsch called the meetings somewhat surreal, but said he soon saw people wanting the best for their families. This concept is universal.
“Talking to people around the world is what EDGE is all about,” said Pierce. “We don’t learn in this metaphorical bubble.”
“What I do has an effect,” Letsch said, “all the way to Honduras.”