Interdisciplinary Learning Comes to Life at ECMS


At Environmental Charter Middle Schools, the culminating integration of each quarters' learning is an interdisciplinary assessment called an “interdisciplinary benchmark.” This assessment challenges students to combine the material they have learned across subjects in a way that stretches their thinking and empowers their academic growth.

This year, interdisciplinary benchmarks at both ECMS-Inglewood and ECMS-Gardena were rigorous and exciting. Each grade level took on a different project. Students became historians, philosophers, mathematicians and artisans to complete their projects.

Seventh graders created a ‘perfect’ society - a utopia. They built societies with utopian political, social and cultural systems... and of course, in a utopia, communities are environmentally sustainable.

[PHOTO]: Seventh graders created utopias with ideal political, social and cultural systems… and of course, in a utopia, communities are environmentally sustainable.

To complete the seventh grade "utopia" project, students used their math skills to solve equations determining the amount of water and electricity needed for their sustainable energy systems. They also built 3D models of their communities and constructed websites to display their utopias in a museum exhibition. Lastly, they used their writing skills to share information with their community about their utopia.

This creatively designed, highly-integrated learning experience is just one example of our benchmarks, which are the result of the hard work and planning of all of our ECMS teachers. IBMs allow students to grow academically while also making connections between their subject matter and real-world issues.

With these types of learning experiences, an ECMS education prepares students for high school, college and career experiences that are as rich, sophisticated and varied as the IBM projects themselves