Tens of thousands of students to take part in new hands-on learning initiative

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools on Monday launched a new curriculum-based, grade-specific, hands-on learning initiative that every MPS student in grades K4 through 8 will experience.

Discovery World on the city’s lakefront is the first “Learning Journey” site. Monday’s announcement was made there by Superintendent Gregory Thornton alongside Discovery World leaders.

Future Learning Journeys are planned for museums, cultural centers and scientific venues throughout Greater Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin.

More than simple field trips, the Journeys engage students’ senses and imaginations by connecting real-world learning experiences directly to what students are learning in their classrooms. Students’ classroom lessons lead up to the hands-on Journey and follow-up projects and activities let the learning continue.

“Helping students discover the connections between what they learn in class and how that’s applied in real-world settings is critical to engaging students in learning and making learning meaningful,” Dr. Thornton said. “Learning Journeys will fulfill that with subject specific opportunities for all MPS students in the grades we’ve identified for our Learning Journeys. We are excited for this new opportunity for our students and thrilled that our first Learning Journey is with our great partners at Discovery World.”

MPS students learn at Discovery World

At Discovery World, nearly 6,000 fourth-graders will study the Great Lakes eco-system and other freshwater issues. The students will experience the Great Lakes Future exhibit, the City of Freshwater, the MillerCoors THIRST Lab and the Reiman Aquarium. Funding for the Discovery World Learning Journeys was provided by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Prior to their visit, Discovery World educators will bring the Kohl’s Design It! Mobile Lab to schools and assist students in creating a water-related product.

“We are honored to be the first venue chosen by Dr. Thornton and MPS for the Learning Journey experience,” said Paul Krajniak, Executive Director for Discovery World. “Working in collaboration with the staff at MPS, we’re confident that students’ visits to Discovery World will be a rich and rewarding experience that will pay benefits far into the future.”