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Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy eighth-graders complete capstone projects
North Hall Middle students part of program's inaugural class
Eighth-grader Jessie Moose, right, talks to guests at the Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy capstone project open house Thursday at North Hall Middle School. Moose’s project was title “Journalism and Photography,” and she was published in The Times as part of her project. - photo by Kristen Oliver

Three years ago, North Hall Middle School’s program of choice was created with the intention of providing students with a rich, interdisciplinary education.

The fruits of those labors were visible Thursday when the inaugural class of the Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy presented their capstone projects.

Kathy Mellette, E2 Academy coordinator, said the eighth-grade students in the program spent their last year at North Hall Middle working on these capstone projects.

“Students completed research on an area of passion/interest and created a project,” she said. “Some have composed music, some have learned a new facet of engineering, etc.”

Eighth-grader Virginia Hill’s project was titled “Give Them One Meal.” She created a business called One Meal after seeing a need during an internship at the Georgia Mountains Food Bank.

“This is my company I started at the beginning of the school year based on a need I saw during my internship,” she said.

Virginia said she realized even the food bank cannot always provide families with a “whole meal.” Her charitable food program relies on food and monetary donations to provide families with a ready-to-prepare bagged meal that feeds five to seven people.

She was able to partner with Get Real Now Ministries in Habersham County and has a GoFundMe page accepting donations.

Other projects included “Journalism and Photography” by Jessie Moose, who partnered with The Times to learn about the industry. Two of Jessie’s articles were published in The Times as a result of the project.

Meanwhile, eighth-graders Carley Mancuso and Ella Randall chose to hone their musical talents for their capstone projects. Ella’s project, “The Art of Composing Music,” challenged her to do her own songwriting and study the work of musical composers.

Carley’s project included studies of music in motion pictures and was based on her cello playing skills.

Projects varied vastly by subjects. Other students focused on sports, engineering, theater, health care and more.

Each year, the Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy specifically utilizes technology-based projects culminating in an end-of-year digital showcase presentation. This year, the program had its first capstone celebration for the eighth grade as a “sort of graduation ceremony,” Mellette said.

This year’s eighth-grade class at North Hall Middle School was part of the inaugural class of the Earhart-Edison Exploration Academy in 2013. Mellette said it was exciting for her to see the capstone projects from these original students.

“This is exactly what I always envisioned this program would be,” Mellette said.

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