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Sixth Grade Exploratory Day

Madison Junior High School

Exploratory Day


All sixth-grade students will participate in a field trip on February 5, 2019, to experience an extension of their exploratory classes. Students will have the opportunity to visit one location in Naperville connected to their exploratory class and return to school to have multiple extensions in Technology, Team Building, Music. Click here for a copy of the permission slip, which is due Thursday, December 20th.


On Tuesday, December 18th, students will select a first and second choice for their exploratory trip to ensure all students participate in a top choice from the options below.


Sound Summit Recording Studio

Students will get hands-on experience learning the ins and outs of the recording studio from the perspective of the musician and the engineer/producer.  Topics include the musical, acoustical, and technical aspects of preparing, recording, and editing an audio production. Students will also be exposed to the hardware and software that audio engineers use to go from concept to a finished production in a recording studio.


As our exploratory rotation prepares students for potential careers, we look to achieve two of the Illinois State college and career readiness standards:

MC CR 2.1.6a. Organize, propose, and evaluate artistic ideas, plans, prototypes, and production processes for media arts productions, considering purposeful intent.

MC CR 3.1.6b. Explain and demonstrate how elements and components can be altered for intentional effects and different audiences.


Our trip to the recording studio will result in students generating their own work by recording, analyzing, and editing their own material.  Students will collaborate and self-reflect to determine if their sound file is ready to be shared with the intended audience. How do musicians know when their work is ready to be shared? Musicians’ presentation of creative work is the culmination of a process of creation and communication.




WONC Radio Station

Students will learn the inner workings of the magic you hear daily on the radio, including the skills required to be a DJ, producer, news anchor, or manager.  Learn about the production and distribution process of commercial advertising, news feeds, music broadcasts, and live/pre-recorded shows. Topics include how stations select and subscribe to various formatting options, how audio material is scheduled, how stations maintain revenue, how stations follow FCC requirements, and how artists earn royalties from having their work broadcast on the air, in addition to how a station contributes to a vibrant and informed local community.  Students will also learn basic techniques for the production and distribution of commercials, news, and music. This cross-curricular experience will discuss business, journalism, music, and engineering, providing students with a wide variety of career opportunities.


This visit reflects the following Illinois State College and Career Readiness Standards:


MA:PR 5.1.6a. Develop a variety of artistic, design, technical, and soft skills through performing various assigned roles in producing and presenting media artworks (for example, invention, formal technique, production, self-initiative, problem-solving).

MA:RE 7.1.6b. Identify, describe, and analyze how various forms, methods, and styles in media artworks manage audience experience.

MA:RE 11.1.7b. Analyze and responsibly interact with media arts tools and environments, considering copyright, ethics, media literacy, and social media.



Ellman’s Instrument Repair Center

Students will learn the skills and technology to teach, maintain, and repair woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments.  Visiting and learning about Ellman’s Instrument Repair Center provides another cross-curricular opportunity for students to learn about future musical career options; repairman, private instrumental teacher, business ownership.


Not only does this experience connect to our music curriculum, but it also connects to our district mission statement to teach our students to be complex thinkers and collaborative workers.  Students will analyze the repair and business process, including the specialized training, equipment, and skills required to maintain and repair all instruments. Repair technicians must also be excellent musicians so that they can test each instrument before and after the repair is completed.  Furthermore, small business ownership requires additional skills and resources to build and sustain a successful business. This demonstrates the following Illinois State CCR Standards:


MU:Cn11.1.6:a. Demonstrate an understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life as developmentally appropriate.

MU:Cn10.1.6a. Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding to music as developmentally appropriate.



Schoenherr Gallery: Exhibit Installation

Students will share in an art experience by watching a professional artist install his or her collection in a gallery space.  Students will learn about the processes involved in preparing and maintaining an art show by a local artist! This field trip will provide an opportunity for students to learn how to professionally present works of art.  This experience includes three vital visual arts standards included in the art curriculum (VA:Pr4.1.6a, VA:Pr5.1.6a, and VA:Pr1.6a). Students will observe the significance of preserving works of art for display, learn the basic layout of a functional gallery space, and make connections between art spaces and its value in a community.




Humane Society

Are you interested in making a difference in our community and in the lives of numerous animals?  Are you interested in pursuing a career in Animal Care, Community work or Family and Consumer Science?   Students can help make a difference by sewing small animal beds or pillows and making doggie treats for animals at the Naperville Humane Society.  It is imperative for the life skills we acquired in FACS class be used outside the classroom to help make our community stronger and to take time to give back.  Also, 6th graders study how their interests and values come into play when selecting a career path.  Ideally, when students who are interested in working with animals, a great way to give back to the community and find work you enjoy is to visit a vet or animal shelter.  Currently, the Humane Society is looking for volunteers (age 15 if you are volunteering without an adult, 10-15 years old if you are accompanied by an adult).



During our in-school exploratory extension of the day, students will rotate through Technology, Team Building, and Music.

Technology participants will experience a Breakout EDU game focusing on coding and computer science. Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve. This experience includes several Technology/PLTW (Project Lead the Way) priority standards:


  • LO1.1A: Describe and/or analyze moments within a problem solving process where persistence, iteration, and the positive aspect of failure played an
  • important role in gaining understanding about a problem or unexpected observation.
  • LO1.2C: Solve a problem using analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • LO3.2A: Communicate effectively for specific purposes and settings.


Music participants will explore the world of musical theater. As part of the district music curriculum and NAFME standards, all students will understand music is a performing art, is a creative process, evokes a response and enables us to make connections. Students will learn the multitude of roles involved to create a theater production. Students will participate in a 10 minute skit; creating a final product with all students having a role in light, sound, recording, acting and producing.



We are very excited for our day of exploration!

Erika McCann

Exploratory Department Coordinator

The Exploratory Department

               Kristen Ufheil PLTW.......................................David Carroll Performance Music

               Heidi Sands FACS......................................Mya Dwyer Performance Music

                Jenn Weber Art.............................................Erika McCann Performance Music

Carmen Ceresa General Music & Performance Music