Academics » Projects


Students at Dishman in 8th and 9th-grade work in project groups. Students can choose between two different year-long projects. During their time at Dishman, their teachers collaborate on one project that students focus on to cover all of the different academic areas. Students will remain in this cohort for the entire year. 
Students in 10th grade will have the choice to opt into a project for the 22-23 school year. This Spring students took a survey to select their pathway and project. 

Space Colony Project

Could you design a solution to save earth from an asteroid impact? If we fail, could you get 1000 people to live off of planet earth in a sustainable utopia? How would we travel the solar system and to where? What is a utopia? What form of government would you establish? How would you sustain the resources of this new world? You will explore and answer these questions as you navigate the SPACE COLONY project. Your team will explore, design, prototype, build, plan, and execute the most epic journey taking the human species to a new world.

Now that we have colonized a new planet, how do we maintain its environmental health? We will use Dishman Hills Natural Area as a model of sustainability. We will learn how to collect & analyze data to determine environmental health. We will explore past relationships between indigenous cultures and nature. You will explore outside as you navigate the OUTDOOR LEARNING project. Your team will take your learning outside to the natural spaces in our community to explore, measure, explain, hike, and create art in different habitats. Field trip permission forms are required.


Dishman Hills High School is the only site in Washington to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award. Dishman Hills High School is proud to be the only site in the state to offer The Award. 

What is The Award?

The Award is a program of activities. Each young person who takes part in the Award learns a skill, improves their physical fitness, volunteers in their community, and experiences a team adventure in a new environment. Success in the Award is measured by regular participation over a fixed period of time while showing commitment and progress in each activity. 

How does this work at Dishman Hills High School?

At Dishman Hills High School students in grades 8, 9, and 10 have the opportunity to sign up for The Award Project to participate. 

The Award Project helps Dishman students stand out from the crowd and find their purpose, passion, and place in the world! We believe that not all learning happens in the classroom – in fact, some of life’s biggest lessons can happen in the least likely locations.

Students will have the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone, try new things, and develop skills such as leadership, teamwork, and confidence. The Award will challenge students to become confident, responsible, reflective, flexible, and engaged learners.

They will get the chance to develop skills they are passionate about, get physically active on their own terms, volunteer once a week off-site at the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center, and experience adventure outside the classroom.

The Award Project will cover: Core credits, elective credits, and the 4 essential Award Sections:

  1. SERVICE: Working with the Outdoor Learning Center on projects such as:
    ✷ caring for animals, ✷ working outdoors to assist with trail and grounds maintenance
    ✷ helping to design, and construct artworks
  2. SKILL: Work independently, or with teachers, to discover new passions, and develop your interests. Examples include:
    ✷ coding ✷ painting ✷ drawing ✷ learning an instrument ✷ digital art ✷ video production 
  3. PHYSICAL RECREATION: Any activity that requires sustained physical exertion and that makes you sweat. E.g.:
    ✷ team-based sports ✷ rowing/running/ weights in the school fitness suite ✷ yoga/pilates ✷ outdoor walking ✷ outdoor running
  4. ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY: Discover a spirit of adventure, and gain a deeper understanding of the environment, nature, and the great outdoors within teams by completing an:
    ✷ expedition ✷ exploration


For more information contact our Dean of Students, Tamsin Harrison.