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On September 22 and 23, the WSD Middle School held its annual Discovery Days – two days where students spend time off campus participating in a variety of hands-on, real-world experiences in the wider community.

Sixth grade students attended the Wasatch Mountain Institute located at Jordanelle Reservoir. During this place-based outdoor education program, students waded in ponds to take water samples, analyzed data, identified macroinvertebrates, and reflected on their observations through journaling and art. They also enjoyed community-building games, mapping, hiking, and exploring the area.

Seventh grade students traveled to Tanner Park in Salt Lake City for “Theatre In The Park” with actors from the Egyptian Theatre. A variety of creative acting exercises challenged students to be confident, work as a team, improvise, and use their imaginations. A highlight for students was learning how to choreograph a realistic and exciting sword fight as they prepared their final product, a performance of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Eighth grade students traveled to Cedar City for an overnighter at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. They attended performances of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and Sandy Rustin’s “Clue,” experiencing first-hand one of the best professional theater events in the country. Students participated in the play orientations and seminars, asking questions and soaking up insights from festival actors and directors. A backstage tour took them to the scene shop, where they practiced the art of stage combat on the Engelstad Theater stage, and learned about the inner workings of the theater.

Discovery Days is a much anticipated event for Middle School students, and it’s easy to see why. The opportunity to venture out of the classroom, engage with the broader community, and spend meaningful time with peers expands their learning while making memories for a lifetime.