There are practical requirements for Elementary School students throughout their academic studies, providing them with important real-life experience in conducting experiments, making useful products, enhancing their understanding of a subject, or in learning a new skill. Practical activities consist of both projects and skill development.
"Research" is a skill that helps a student to observe activities or phenomena in the environment, thereby learning first-hand about basic concepts in the sciences, their environment and even the people around them. Elementary School students engage in a variety of research projects whether in the lab, on the internet, at the library or in direct questioning or observation as part of their regular curriculum.
Getting out to observe or interact with the world outside Delphi is a big part of the program. In the classrooms, students are encouraged to connect what they are studying with the real world. Field trips help them to make that connection even more real. Elementary School students generally take one to two field trips every month. Typical trips might include seeing a play, ballet or opera, touring a television station, meeting the city mayor and talking about the issues and duties she faces, or going to see a major exhibit at the DeYoung or Tech Museum.
Elementary School students participate in a variety of practical projects that give them experience in life, build new skills or put previously theoretical skills into practice. These may include keeping a budget, participating in a mock trial at the courthouse, writing a screenplay, designing and building a doghouse, running for office in Student Government, or using a telescope to study the moon and planets. Practical courses such as Hurry First Aid and Worm Farm familiarize students with important life saving skills and a knowledge of composting, microorganisms, nutrients and decay that can be applied in the student’s own backyard.