Your Town Friday: Plainfield students get to work in an Idea Lab

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. -- We're heading about 20 miles west of Indianapolis into Hendricks County for this week's Your Town Friday.

Plainfield was incorporated as a town in 1839. It got its name from the early Quakers who settled there. The Quakers were considered "plain" people, and so the town was named Plainfield.

The school district continues to honor the Quakers, using the name for the mascot.

Quaker and the Plainfield Community Middle School orchestra and band welcomed us to the school with a performance, showing us their school pride before the morning bell even rang.

"Plainfield School Corporation is the heart of the town," said Assistant Principal Brooke Walden.

Walden actually grew up in the Tri-West area. She taught at Western Boone until she returned to her home county as an assistant principal last year.

Next, Walden showed us where they're striking a chord with technology in a room filled with cool gadgets.

"But more than that, it’s a place that students can really have authentic learning experiences, start to dabble and problem solve and find creative ways to learn."

The Idea Lab is one of the students' favorite places.

"All of the collaboration that gets done in this room is just incredible," said eighth grader Ellie Whitehead.

Fellow eighth graders Reagan Wilson and Harper Dorris built a website honoring women in the Vietnam War.

"There were actually about 5,000 women in the Vietnam War and only seven made it onto the memorial wall," said Reagan.

They made it a point to tell those women's stories.

Eighth grader Adelaide Roth made a quilt for one of her projects to bring attention to elephant poaching. She even made an extra quilt and auctioned it off for charity.

"I‘m crafty like this because my mom’s a quilter!" said Adelaide. "She loves to quilt and so she taught me and I fell in love with it."

These middle school students are orchestrating projects that might one day change the world.

"We really want to make sure that our students are thinking and collaborating and communicating and just being ready learners for the future," said Walden. "Not just learning content."

There will be a fifth elementary school opening in 2021. Construction begins on Guilford Elementary this fall.

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