Begun in 2004, the Farm Program is a unique, place-based experience for our Wheeler and Hamilton sixth graders. For eight weeks of their school year and with their homeroom, sixth graders explore, investigate, and seek inspiration from their full days at The Wheeler Farm, our 120-acre property in Seekonk, Massachusetts. The Farm Program benefits from the beauty and infinite opportunities of the natural environment, enriching the academic work of our sixth graders, from vigorous scientific leaf studies and interdiscipinary projects on natural landforms to examinations of poetry, art, and mathematical models deepened through the context of The Farm.
Academic classes are a focus of the Farm Program, but free, unstructured time (what we would call “recess” on the city campus) is as an equally important component. In the morning, students have math; after lunch, they may have an idea for the massive class fort on Junebug Mountain. The combination of academics and play capitalizes on all educators and researchers know today about the brain and the development of the social and emotional skills of our children.
The 6th Grade Wheeler Farm Program has a strong emphasis on STEAM learning. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. STEAM skills are vital for sucess in the 21st century and critical to our collective future. With emphasis on Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication through project-based learning. The Program captures the kind of learning center for which Wheeler strives: a place where students are supported and challenged in an environment that both honors the individual and nurtures the community.