Distinctions

The POD

Taking Ownership of Their Learning

The Project of Discovery (POD) is a two-term independent study project that students begin in the 8th grade. The POD project fosters students' intrinsic motivation by channeling their interests to solve a problem, provide a service, educate, or persuade.

Successful Planning

An essential component of the project is developing students' analytical skills, including how to identify possible risks, as well as thinking of ways to solve and monitor those problems throughout all stages of the project. Students also learn various organizational strategies that help them manage time and resources over the two-year period. All students:
  • identify goals
  • study feasibility
  • identify, evaluate, and monitor risks and roadblocks associated with the project
  • design and execute the plan
  • create and follow a schedule
  • communicate progress

  • receive and use feedback
  • develop presentation skills

The POD provided [our daughter] with the time and structure to delve deeply into her passion for art. More than just time spent doing art, she extended that interest to new areas and used new technologies, established a mentor, explored career opportunities..., and publicly shared her interest in a gallery showing of her work. We can think of no other school where she would have had this opportunity, and it has proved significant in guiding her high school experience." 
—Ron Wisor and Keri Piester, Alum Parents

Past Projects

  • starting an after-school drama club and producing three plays
  • creating a role-playing game (RPG) and holding an RPG tournament
  • designing a prototype for a remote control plane
  • drawing comic books and selling them to raise money for a local non-profit
  • writing an award-winning cooking blog
  • building a spectrometer and presenting research at STEMFest
  • organizing an exhibition of student artwork at a local gallery
  • researching and producing a documentary on Parkour
  • preparing a three-course meal for 30 guests
1640 Kalmia Road NW
Washington, DC  20012
202-577-2000