A Red Deer teacher’s work at Aspen Heights Elementary is being recognized through the Tom Malone Lifetime Achievement Award from MicroSociety Inc.  

“I was shocked to learn that I received this award,” said Melisa. “When I heard the news, I was speechless,” said Grade Five Teacher Melisa McIntosh.  

She has been a part of MicroSociety for about 15 years and is one of the foundational teachers who implemented the program in the school during the early stages.  

“When we started MicroSociety all of those years ago, we were trying to get motivation and ownership out of our students in their learning,” said McIntosh.  

The MicroSociety program is cross-graded, and cross-curricular, and runs throughout the year, giving students the opportunity to learn life skills through experience.   

Through the program, students learn math by having jobs, paying taxes, and running businesses that sell various goods such as smoothies, clothing, and plants. Students study logic and law by taking their peers to court and fining them in the school’s currency, along with understanding politics by creating their constitution, bills, and laws, that are enforced by the school police agency.  

With guidance from McIntosh, the program has become a vibrant miniature society, giving students the chance to take on roles as entrepreneurs, government officials, and community leaders.   

“In our culture as a school, it’s about kids really seeking ownership and having control over their learning. From choosing their own government to choosing to lead their own businesses, and handing out tickets to their peers - kids really own what is happening and they take it very seriously,” said McIntosh. “The skills and confidence they are learning prepare them for the real world when they leave school. Our parents love it and there is a pride in who we are as a MicroSociety.”  


**With information provided by Red Deer Public Schools.