William Smith: An Expeditionary Learning Mecca

At William Smith High School, learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom every day. The school is a nationally-recognized hub of compelling, hands-on learning opportunities that help students gain an array of 21st century skills.

Through project-based learning, students actively explore topics and share their knowledge and skills with other students and the broader community. This approach uniquely fulfills the APS 2020: Shaping
the Future goal that every student gains a set of skills to implement his or her plan for the future.

As students bring their projects to life, there is a high level of excitement and energy at the school. Whether it’s roasting cacao beans to make chocolate, using random materials to construct robots, or studying animal anatomy to create sculptured replicas, students stay engaged in their learning. Other student projects include creating silent films, learning trigonometry and astronomy to build a sun dial, studying chemistry to write a children’s book about fireworks and more.

With these expeditionary teaching methods in place, William Smith is considered among the best in the U.S. In addition to other notable accolades, William Smith has earned designation as a MetLife Foundation/National Association of Secondary School Principals Breakthrough School, an Expeditionary Learning Mentor School and, most recently, a Gold School of Opportunity. These honors were awarded to fewer than a dozen schools across the nation.

APS applauds William Smith for providing students with engaging real-world learning opportunities that support them in reaching their full potential.