“How can we bring peace to the world?” This was the question Monte del Sol sophomores spent the entire 2018-19 school year addressing. The answer was located at the Peace Museum: a collection of student-developed artifacts, writing and artworks related to finding peace in unpeaceful experiences. On opening night, students served food and presented their projects to an audience of over 300 people.

The yearlong project was a far stretch from the textbook readings and lectures people often associate with traditional classroom settings. The peace curriculum at Monte del Sol Charter School is an example of a new kind of classroom environment built by “project-based learning” that advocates believe keeps students engaged, in charge and on track to becoming lifelong learners.

“It made them proud that they did something good in the community,” said language arts teacher Elizabeth Tidrick, who co-organized the museum. “I never saw kids who were so proud of their work. To this day, I still think the Peace Museum was the best thing I ever did as a teacher.”

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