Portland Jewish Academy is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and is proud of our partnership with them in strengthening our local Jewish community as well as the global community.










The Cell Campaign Project

Our students and staff recently participated in an important annual election at PJA to determine “The Most Important Organelle” of 2022.  

As a part of their studies in biology, 7th & 8th grade students learn about cells through The Cell Campaign Project. It is a project-based unit in which students work collaboratively in teams to get their organelle (little things inside of cells that make a cell work) voted “Most Important Organelle.” The Cell Campaign Project gives students a deep understanding of how cells work including the functions of the various organelles, what types of cells have which organelles and their value and impact on the cell. Students also learn how to explain the science to a wider audience through the use of political campaign materials. 

The science is interesting in and of itself; the campaign allows for greater understanding, creativity, and fun! 

Over the course of a few weeks, students explore former presidential campaign materials to see what makes good propaganda. They create a Voter's Guide that describes what their organelle does - its role in the cell, what type of cells have it, and why it is important. Imitating real political campaigns, teams create pieces of propaganda (posters, web sites, videos, t-shirts, brochures) and also smear campaigns against the other organelles. They write a stump speech for their candidate that they deliver to the electorate (students and teachers from 4-8th grade) during our “Cell-vention” in addition to finding amusing and positive ways to interact with the electorate at the Campaign Rally (games, raffles, buttons, stickers, etc.). All of the work is an effort to educate the public about their candidate and try to convince them to vote for them.
This year's winners of the Most Important Organelle are Team Nucleus (8th grade) and Team Chloroplast (7th grade)! Congratulations to the winning organelles and all of the students for putting together a fantastic cell campaign!

Spotlight on ...

Early Childhood

Holiday celebrations have looked very different in PJA’s Early Childhood program in the last couple of years. Take Purim, which we celebrated earlier this month...

Read More about Early Childhood