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What Makes Hess Academy Unique?

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Hands On learning

From Pre-K to 8th grade, Hess Academy believes learning MUST be made relevant to students via hands-on experience. How do teachers do this across grade levels? Below are excerpts from weekly class letters that describe hands-on experience from this school year.

Pre-K : “Upon entering the farm during our trip last week, one of the children saw a chicken fly out of the way and she quickly exclaimed, 'What? Chickens can fly? I didn't know that!' That was it; discovery through experience is why play in nature is treasured. We collected eggs and did some chores around the farm. We came back with new understandings of the world in which we live."

4th, 5th, & 6th grade: "In addition to the petting zoo, the 4th grade class wowed us with their 'living wax museum.' The 5th and 6th grade students enjoyed pushing their 'start buttons' and hearing speeches of famous people from the revolutionary war."

7th & 8th grade:

“Last Friday's outing to the Capitol building was full of history, debate, and sneak peaks into legislative proceedings. Many of our students were interested to hear about the Page Program and asked us to pass on a link. Overall, it was a wonderful opportunity to gain background knowledge, prime students for future units, and spark ideas for student council members."

Inquiry-Based STEM

Through our science curriculum, students learn methods, processes, procedures and systems needed to study the physical world. Science knowledge allows students to objectively examine information and be discerning investigators. Enjoy the excerpts below to understand how this is true across grade levels.


"Next week, we will be doing a sink and float activity as well as explore seeds (or lack of

seeds) in produce chosen by the children in attendance on Friday. The list is below. Your child will need to bring their item for testing on Tuesday, or Wednesday if they don't attend school on Tuesdays. Thank you!"

5th & 6th Grade:

"This week we have delighted in sharing wonder with your children! In science, they were truly full of joy and excitement with the results of their gummy bear osmosis experiment. On Tuesday, all of our students took measurements of 3 gummy bears. Then, they put one gummy bear in a cup to act as a control, one gummy bear in a cup of salt water, and one in a cup of regular tap water. When they came back on Wednesday, ONE of their three gummy bears was HUGE! They learned that the molecules in the salt water were too large to fit through the gummy bear cell membrane. However, because the tap water was able to pass through the membrane, the gummy bear expanded via osmosis.”

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