32nd Annual Carlisle Middle 8th Grade Forum

Eighth Grade Forum Empowers Students to Think Critically

The 32nd edition of the Carlisle Middle School Eighth Grade Forum was recently held in the Walker Fine Arts building for parents, students, and friends. This year’s forum had alumni connections that date to earlier years at the school. William Vaughn, Sr., class of 1996 was an audience member whose son, eighth grader William Vaughn, Jr. presented. James McClain, class of 1994, served as one of the panelists.

Carlisle Middle School offers a research-based curriculum. Students are taught how to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios and routinely are tasked with interdisciplinary assignments that require research, writing, technological components, and public speaking.

The Forum is an annual tradition that has become a rite of passage for the eighth-grade students. It was originally developed in 1990 by Mrs. Linda Gibson in conjunction with the late Mrs. Peggy Ford. Forum consists of a formal research paper on an important current or historical topic. There is collaboration between the history and English departments with the goal of enabling students to develop critical reading and writing skills using historical analysis, primary and secondary sources, and contemporary media. Students learn the value of academic research and explore points of view. They investigate assigned topics and create a multi-draft research paper that is crafted into an oral presentation.

This year eighth grade students explored the lives and works of American inventors and entrepreneurs who improved products, services, and ways of doing things. The students then delivered their oral presentations to a panel that consisted of two community members as well as a current senior. Upon completion of the presentations, each student had to respond to questions posed by the panelists.