Jayshawn Banks, an eighth grade student at Red Bank Middle School, peeks above the top of his laptop — just enough time to compare the sailboat blueprint he’s developing on his screen with the real dinghy that is being assembled just a few feet away.
Jayshawn’s classmate, Shelly Vasquez, a seventh grader at Red Bank Charter School, does the same. Both are intent on the task at hand: to build a sailboat. And while both students know they can get quick answers from their teachers in the room, they remain steadfastly independent, choosing to work with their peers instead.
“We feel like architects,” Jayshawn said. “And when we run into problems, we know we can ask the teacher, but we’d rather figure it out ourselves.”
This balance of independence and collaboration is a hallmark of the five-week RBCS Summer Institute, available to all elementary school-aged children.