Enrichment & Electives
ECS believes that opportunities for enrichment should be created throughout the curriculum, as well as beyond lesson time – both in school and outside it. An important feature of enrichment is that it must enhance the curriculum and the student’s general learning experience.
The goal of our Enrichment and Electives Program is to support and enhance the ECS mission and to support a resource-based, real-world, active learning curriculum. We provide leadership in and support of collaborative partnerships between students, teachers, parents, and the community.
ECS students are exposed to a variety of activities beyond the classroom. Research has shown that it is in creative, service, and team activities that students encounter situations that challenge, excite, and inspire them. Education does not consist of academic endeavors alone; therefore, by providing extensive enrichment opportunities, ECS is able to encourage each student to extend his or her boundaries beyond the ordinary and discover his or her talents wherever they lie. It is by finding one’s place in a community that one is able to develop confidence and strength.
2016-2017 Quarter One
Click here for Lower School Enrichment Activities
Planned Activities for Creative Enrichment (PACE)
In keeping with a central education philosophy that every child should have the opportunity to develop his/her potential abilities to the fullest, the PACE program was developed. The program was created to meet the special needs of academically gifted and talented fourth and fifth grade students.
The PACE program is designed to develop higher order thinking skills, creativity, and scientific literacy across subjects. We base all lessons on a simple set of "tools" that produce "gifted" results. With hands-on investigation, we build communication, problem-solving, and concentration skills. What we hope to develop is an "interdisciplinary mind."
The focus of the program is to involve the students as a group and individually in many different types of learning experiences. Resource people and planned field trips into the community will stretch their thinking and awaken new areas of interest.
Qualities of a Gifted Student
- Learns rapidly and easily.
- Reasons things out, thinks clearly and precisely, and is quick to comprehend.
- Has rich vocabulary marked by originality of thought and expression.
- Shows much curiosity as indicated by the depth, scope, and frequency of his/her questions.
- Enjoys reading, usually at a mature level.
- Produces ideas which are uncommon and original and can adapt the ideas to a task or problem.
- Prefers own judgment to that of others.
ECS Enrichment Opportunities
The goal of our Enrichment and Electives Program is to support and enhance the ECS mission and to support a resource-based, real-world, active learning curriculum. We provide leadership in and support of collaborative partnerships between students, teachers, parents, and the community. ECS students are exposed to a variety of activities beyond the classroom. Research has shown that it is in creative, service, and team activities that students encounter situations that challenge, excite, and inspire them. Education does not consist of academic endeavors alone; therefore, by providing extensive enrichment opportunities, ECS is able to encourage each student to extend his or her boundaries beyond the ordinary and discover his or her talents wherever they lie. It is by finding one’s place in a community that one is able to develop confidence and strength.
Model United Nations
- Sponsors: Jenny Shorten and Chris Luketic
- President: Cole Jackson
- Date: November 18-20, 2016
Each fall, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee sponsors a Model United Nations conference. At the conference, Tennessee high school students learn about the real world operation of the United Nations by participating in a reenactment of the organization's activities.
Most students form delegations and represent member countries' interests in the General Assembly by drafting and debating resolutions. These resolutions cover a wide variety of topics of international concern. Other students have the opportunity to represent their countries on the Security Council, and to participate in a model International Court of Justice.
Youth in Government
- Sponsors: Jenny Shorten and Chris Luketic
- President: Cole Jackson
- Date: April 6-9, 2017
The Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Program is an annual conference designed to offer high school students a hands-on experience with state government. Each year, over 2500 students from across the state converge on the State Capitol, taking the places of our real government officials. Program participants can serve as senators or representatives, as justices and lawyers, as department commissioners and lobbyists, or even as press corps members.
S.W.A.T. (Students Working to Advance Technology)
- Sponsor: Manuel Burton
- Meets: Fridays 2:45 – 4:00
This club introduces students to the robotics, drone and 3d printing technologies to enhance their curiosities within this field. The SWAT Club is planning on participation in local engineering events, having professional speakers on campus, and competing in a local robotics tournament.
- Sponsor: David Butler
- Date: March 2017
Canstruction is a unique competition that showcases the excitement of the civil engineering field to high schoolers while helping feed the hungry. The competition is held at the University of Memphis. Students are required to design and construct giant sculptures made entirely out of canned goods. Each team is allowed to have five students building at one time and they have three hours to complete their structure. Each team is paired with a professional civil engineer and civil engineering student to act as mentors. At the end of the competition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to the Mid-South Food Bank. To date, the "canstruction" event has donated 106,000 pounds of food to the Mid-South Food Bank.
- Sponsor: Andy Sisk
- President: Cole Jackson
The ultimate purpose of the debate club is to field a competitive debate team from the student body here at ECS. The secondary purpose though, is to give our student the tools to be able to work through topics in a healthy and respectful way. In debate club, we will look at how you form and respond to an argument, how to support an argument using evidence and facts, and how to divorce personal belief and emotions from a topic. We will do this by practicing and staging debates both on the pro and con side of arguments. My goal is to give our students the tools to respectfully state their opinions and discuss them with other students.
- Sponsor: Andy Hynes
- President: Haddy Betapudi
The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation honors the legacy of its founders, Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson and builds on their commitment to transform the Greater Memphis community through grant making and programs driven by faith and family leadership. They manage a program they created called The Wilson Society to inspire students to servant leadership and service in their sphere of influence. The ECS Chapter of the Wilson Society was started by junior, Haddy Betapudi, who found out about it at a Memphis leadership conference. There are eighteen students, who, under the leadership of Haddy, will partner with the YMCA of Memphis to serve the community.
- Sponsors: Becky Casperson and Jenny Shorten
- Presidents: Hallie Green and Cole Jackson
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies helps them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills, and feel valued by society. The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.
The aim of the Best Buddies Chapter at ECS is to spark new friendships and generate genuine happiness among students with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout our community. The chapter presidents (CPs) organize, lead, and maintains our Best Buddies chapter and ensure that the members fulfill the mission of Best Buddies for one academic year.
Faces & Our Cultures Program
- Sponsor: Jenny Shorten
- Presidents: Ali Romines and Joshua Crowell
The Faces & Our Cultures Program is a Cultural Exchange Program between Guatemala and the USA. Young Guatemalan Cultural Ambassadors, between the ages of 11 and 17, travel to the USA to share and learn from the American Culture. They bring Cultural Projects to share with their community in order to promote Bilateral Cultural Enrichment.
Faces & Our Cultures offers an enriching experience through the exchange of cultures within an educational and family environment. It provides tools for learning and achieving human and cultural development. The Guatemalan participants must create a profile and be selected and screened, in order to represent their country as Young Cultural Ambassadors.
Dates of the Program:
- Begins: October 18, 2016
- Ends: December 11, 2016
Professional Speaker Series
- Sponsors: Jenny Shorten and Michelle Brown
During the first week of January, we invite select professionals to present their career to the junior and senior classes. The purpose is to expose students to different careers and enable them to appreciate the vast amount of choices they will have once they leave school and head to college. Our belief is that God has provided each student with a variety of gifts and abilities. Through the opportunities provided by ECS, students can now discover their gifts and pursue courses and careers to develop those gifts.
- Sponsor: Michelle Brown
The Shadowing Program is there to assist ECS students in finding certain occupational field(s) of interest they may want to pursue. Shadow Partners are ECS parents, alumni and board members that can give a half, or full day, at their work location to host one to two ECS students who have done due diligence by researching and determining an interest in a particular profession. The goal is to involve as many parents as possible to participate as Shadow Partners so that they have a glimpse of the teachers, doctors, mechanics, lawyers, pilots, veterinarians, and architects, etc. that they will become in the not-so-distant future.
In preparation for the student’s Shadowing Visit, we want to make sure they are completely prepared and equipped to make the most of both the Shadow Partner’s and the student’s time and efforts of the visit. The student will determine what area of interest he/she wants to pursue and then attend one of our business etiquette classes at school so they are well prepared for the Shadowing Visit. Afterwards, the student contacts Michelle Brown and she will coordinate the Shadowing Visit with an appropriate Shadow Partner on a mutually agreed upon time. The student will arrive at the Shadow Partner’s work location with a few questions/goals he/she wants to achieve during the Shadowing Visit. A certificate will be given once all follow-up tasks have been completed.
Capitol Hill Challenge – The Stock Market Game
- Sponsor: Jenny Shorten
The Capitol Hill Challenge (CHC) is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students in the world of economics, investing, and personal finance. CHC also connects high school students with their member of Congress. The top 10 teams win a trip to Washington, DC!
More than 600,000 students take part every school year across all 50 states. An independent study by Learning Point Associates found students who participated in the SMG program scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests.
International Study Tours
- Sponsor: Jenny Shorten
- Date: Late June/Early July
International Study Tours are a great opportunity for students to combine an overseas travel and cultural experience with studies focusing on the curriculum and worldview. Study tours emphasize experiential learning and allow students to explore new territories, cultures and people. They combine theory with real-life experience and cultural perspective.
By studying abroad students will:
- Meet new friends from around the world.
- Gain new perspectives on things they normally wouldn't have.
- Improve a foreign language and learn a few things they didn't already know.
- Learn to be more independent.
- Immerse themselves in a completely different culture.
ECS offers three Study Tours:
- Western Europe
- United Kingdom/Ireland
World Peace Game
- Sponsor: Social Studies Department
The World Peace Game, created by John Hunter, is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As their teams venture further into this interactive social setting laced with highly charged philosophical issues, the skills needed to identify ambiguity and bias in the information they receive will be enhanced and more specifically they will rapidly perceive that reactive behavior not only provokes antagonism, it can leave them alone and isolated in the face of powerful enemies. Beliefs and values will evolve or completely unravel as they begin to experience the positive impact and windows of opportunity that emerge through effective collaboration and refined communication.
ALPINE ADVENTURE11 DAYS in France, Switzerland, and Germany!
End of June-Early July 2017
With 47 students planning to travel on the Alpine Adventure, this trip is now full.