By: Hannah Pier-Herendeen
Forest Hills Northern High School, located in Grand Rapids Michigan, offers several nontraditional educational pathways to students within the Forest Hills Public Schools District. Two of the district’s programs, Project NEXT and the STEM Academy, coexist within FHN and strive to bring the “real world” into the classroom and prepare their students for successful futures. In response to the growth of these programs, a new space has been created that reflects their innovative work.
FHN made a bold move in 2018 by offering their students a new learning experience through a Project NEXT-based program. Project NEXT is a 4-year parallel path program of study that was driven by the school and teachers’ visions to provide students with hands-on and collaborative ways of learning. To support the curriculum, educators participated in project based learning training at the Buck Institute for Education. It was initially a small pilot program in the media centre with a few students. A modest investment was made at the time by…