Seattle Country Day School was founded on the belief that children of high intellectual and creative potential are well served in a program that is challenging, engaging, and responsive to their innate curiosity and love of learning. In order to meet the needs of this special population of students, we provide them with the opportunity to foster an inquisitive nature and to delve deeply into the subject matter alongside a supportive peer group. Blends of traditional and progressive approaches are used with a focus on inquiry-based instruction instead of acceleration. Project-based learning is a hallmark of an SCDS education; students routinely complete projects in which they have to apply what is being learned. Local, regional, national, and international trips serve to advance student learning as well. As students grow in our program, they are encouraged to develop personal flexibility, empathy for others, integrity, and kindness. SCDS seeks to develop scholarly minds and compassionate world citizens.
A shining example of project-based learning and inquiry-based education, the Engineering Event unit at SCDS takes place over several weeks and culminates in an all-school event. Students in grades 3–8 build rigs — moving contraptions, made from household items — that are based on interesting, real-life inventions. As the students learn about the inventions and about constructing their rigs, they also practice perseverance and patience. We’ve produced a lively video that will give you a good sense of this fun, challenging project.