Compass Recap

Compass Recap

Karthik Reddy ’21

Today, our world is run on extrinsic motivation, the act of doing something for a personal reward. As students currently in school, we work hard so we can attend the best college and in turn experience future financial and social success. Has intrinsic motivation become nonexistent in the classroom? Western Reserve Academy has answered this question with their CL Compass program.

Compass is a college-level course, available for juniors and seniors, where students can create and develop a project on a topic or issue they feel passionate about. Students apply for the program the Spring prior to enrollment by meeting with advisors; after a careful selection process, a group of students is admitted into the class. Throughout the course, and with the help of current faculty coordinators, Dr. Robinson, Mr. Morrison, and Dr. Borrmann, students learn and experience the various aspects that come with converting an idea into a reality through a plethora of activities such as delivering a proper and effective pitch to project design. The course culminates in students presenting their developed and final project to the WRA community through events such as Compass Speaks and Compass Expo.

Compass goes far beyond a standard class project by also teaching students to better understand one’s mindset and motivation when making their ideas a reality. The course contains a stronger focus on encouraging students to pursue their interests and curiosity without the influence of outside factors, helping students learn that their interests are not limited to the rewards and recognition they receive for their work.

This year, Compass students are developing projects that cover a large variety of topics, ranging from environmental sustainability to education. Khushi Chawda ‘21, a student currently enrolled in Compass, is working on educating middle school students on the methods and practices of plant breeding to help the community better understand the food we eat. She plans to create an online newsletter that is published every month which educates students on a certain area of produce genetics.

Compass provides WRA students the opportunity to escape the restraints of the standard classroom environment and explore their passion and interests. With their projects, students are improving their community through their unique passion and curiosity. Amid COVID-19, there is still uncertainty around the method of how the Compass events will be held this year, but we can be sure to have more information as the academic year progresses. Nonetheless, it’s guaranteed that we will experience some truly amazing and creative projects in the future as the students are further developing their projects, turning their dreams into a reality.

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