We've all heard the phrase "lifelong learner". But what about lifelong learners who, like sages of old, share their learnings, their gifts, their knowledge, and themselves, for the purpose of building up the community, the "Discovery Posterity" so to speak. We graduate students (from our team, our school, our community) rarely to ever hear from them again. And, when we do, we often respond with "Wow, that's great [that you are working on the development of a webpage for a major corporation]!", or "That is really amazing! I'm not surprised [that you are graduating with high honors and are using your skills as an intern at a technology start-up]." In other words, when former Discovery students "check in", we realize that those who have gone on, have much to offer those who are in the midst of their middle school years.

So, this leaves us with a number of options: 1.) We agree that former Discovery students graduate with a powerful set of skills and leave it at that; 2.) We agree to #1 and open the dialogue so that these former students are aware that there is a place for them to have input; or, 3.) We agree to #1 and #2 and make a concerted effort to truly make learning lifelong for Discovery students and continue the format of a collaborative community well beyond 8th grade (say, to high school, college, post-graduate work, the work-force). Incorporated in the ADM are a number of "touchstones" and jumping-off points for just such a dialogue. We desire to allow the true experiences of others to speak boldly when students ask "Why am I learning this?" and "When will I ever use this in the "real" world?"

If some degree of informational and skill application is not necessarily evident, students will relegate learning to the "unimportant information" portion of their brains, interactions, and lives. We want more. We want our students to say that what they learn is important not just because the teacher (or mom and dad) say it is so.

Enter The Legacy: a continually interactive, introspective, and collaborative aspect of the ADM. We hope to contact Discovery alumni and conduct the ongoing learning aspect of the ADM through this facet of the model.