Experiential learning. Every day.

Whether investigating in a ninth-grade biology lab, choreographing a piece in dance composition, crafting an innovative algorithm, or writing a novel, a Mercersburg Academy student can imagine, make, and present creative work in class, for the community, or even beyond the boundaries of campus. 

Students in chemistry classes synthesize their skills to develop their own lab procedures. Seniors in rapid app development solve real problems like how to design and assemble a more affordable, bomb-defusing robot for police departments. Students in AP English lead a scholarly discussion about Moby-Dick and then go on to hold a well-informed exchange about Brexit in the Quinn-Ferguson Honors Seminar.

We have so much going on, but students don’t have to do any of this alone. Mercersburg provides help periods embedded into each day and Help Centers for writing, math, science, and foreign languages open and available in the evenings and often during a student’s free periods.

So instead of merely collecting facts that are already available in the palms of their hands, students at Mercersburg learn how to find and access deep and diverse resources (including an active and engaged alumni network), apply their knowledge, and create original work.


At its most basic, ‘learning by doing’ means the students don’t just sit there and take stuff in. That’s why it’s useful to use the word ‘transfer’ as the goal. Learning by doing is not the goal. Learning by doing is the means. The end is the ability to apply your learning in new situations, or what we call ‘transfer’ in education.

— Grant Wiggins, former president of Authentic Education,
which worked with Mercersburg on curriculum design and implementation.