REAL Program

Real-World Experiences and Applied Learning (REAL) Program

The Grosse Pointe Academy Middle School challenges students with opportunities that require cross-disciplinary thinking, extend classroom learning, and push students to make connections between academic work and real-world tasks. Here are a few examples of programs our students have enjoyed in the past:

Build Your Brand

Students create a business or service they are interested in and promote their entrepreneurial adventure. Students take a field trip to Airfoil, “A Holmes Report Tech Agency of The Year and an Advertising Age Best Place To Work,” to learn how to market their product, keep their website current, and spark interest in their product.


Students learn how to send and receive secret messages using both historical and modern methods, including rotation and substitution ciphers, one-time pads, symmetric-keys, public-keys, and steganographic systems. Hands-on activities include studying the basics of code-breaking. A live video-conference session with a cryptographer from the U.S. intelligence community is an exciting final activity.


Students learn crime scene analysis techniques like document analysis, fingerprinting, blood typing, chromatography, tire track evaluation, and footprint study. Investigation includes identifying unknown substances and fibers, as well as tool marks and glass fractures. Students meet with a crime lab scientist and local police.

GPA Studios

The Academy’s very own film studio. Students write, film, and direct short narrative films, with the opportunity to publish their finished products. Participating students visit Ringside Creative and meet with creative artists who make films and videos seen worldwide.

Graphic Arts

Students learn about graphic design and have a chance to meet professionals who work within this creative process. Through a visit to the College For Creative Studies in Detroit, students see how graphic designers use art, design, and technology to communicate something meaningful to others. This class introduces students to the Adobe Creative Suite, which is the program they will use to build a portfolio of work. In this class, students have the opportunity to focus on digital photography, editorial design, computer graphics, advertising design and more.