Swigert International School in Stapleton has an annual tradition that their fifth graders look forward to all year.

Each fall, students participating in the program choose an influential figure from any period in time to research, report on, and become, all to answer the question, “what are the qualities of a great role model?”

From Albert Einstien to Sally Ride, Amelia Earhart and James Cameron, students are expected to know and experience the story of the person they have chosen. The project goes a step further as kids dress up as their character to then teach their peers in the grade below them about their role model.

In front of the school, hundreds of kids teach and learn simultaneously, all while teachers watch an important lesson come to life: when children are given the responsibility of teaching their peers, the result can be transformational.

The mission of Swigert International School is “to develop knowledgeable, inquisitive, and compassionate young people through the collaboration of students, teachers, parents and community.” And their vision strives to “create innovative, intellectually curious students who share a sense of stewardship for creating a better and more peaceful world”.

Many of the role models the students chose related to science, technology, engineering and mathematical advancements in history.

Fifth grader Olivia dressed up as Amelia Earhart.

When asked what made Amelia so capable when it came to pursuing her passion for adventure, she replied, “She was energetic."

“When I was about four or five, I told my mom that I wanted to become a pilot so that I could fly her around the world, wherever she wanted to go," Olivia said.

To learn more about Swigert International School, visit http://swigert.dpsk12.org/.