Project-Based Learning

Project-Based LearningProject Showcase

Project-based learning is at the core of the Maharishi School experience. Through project-based learning, students are inserted into our key principles: know yourself, think deeply, unleash your creativity, succeed.

Daily Process

Every day students are given 70 minutes to work on a passion project. They problem-solve, experiment, falter and keep striving. Through the process, they learn real-world skills that will serve them when they are adults working on projects at their workplaces. Some of the Learning Goals for project learning are creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, a growth mindset, societal impact and service, interdisciplinary integration, development of student portfolios.

How the Students Pick a Project

Each project is either designed by a teacher or proposed by the student at the conception stage and addresses an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. The students work either independently or in small teams and exercise real-life skills in their areas of interest while being fully supported by teachers, community experts, and leaders brought in to match the students’ interests. At the end of each quarter, all the students’ projects are showcased as part of a community-wide event.

Maharishi School RoboticsSuccess 

In a recent Play Production Project, the students vetted and selected the play, built the sets themselves, sourced the costumes, learned stage makeup, created and executed a marketing plan to promote the play, created a budget and managed finances, built a lighting and sound plan, created a cleaning schedule, made refreshments for the intermission and finally produced and performed in the play. With only guidance, the student handled every aspect of the play from soup to nuts allowing them to not only complete a behemoth task but leave with pride and joy as they shared the fruit of their passions with others.


To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556

A Parent’s Perspective – We Fell in Love

A Parent’s Perspective

We Fell in Love

A little more than two years ago, our family moved to Fairfield, Iowa for our daughter to attend Maharishi School. There were many factors leading to this decision: the school itself is stunningly beautiful and the teachers are radiant, wise, and caring; project-based learning is a powerful way for students to learn; and Dr. Beall, the school’s charismatic headmaster, leads the school to academic excellence while cultivating the wisdom of the heart. Add in a twice-daily Transcendental Meditation practice, yoga, and organic lunches and you have a winning combination. The school was a perfect fit for our family. But it was the Dosha Café that sealed our decision.

The Fifth-Grade Cafe 

While we were visiting the school, we were staying with our friends whose son was working on a project in his fifth-grade class. That project was the Dosha Café. He was preparing a dish to take to school for this project based in Ayurveda. The children had designed a business plan, as well as the menu based on the principles of Ayurveda for this café. Each of the facets of running a restaurant was addressed in this project. Not only were the children learning how to create and run a business from start to finish, they were learning about healing tools, not only for themselves but for others too. We were blown away that eight and nine-year-olds were learning about the ancient principles of Ayurveda, as well as having Math, English, Art, and Social Studies brought to life through this fun project. Wow! The school simply is alive with learning on every level!

The Bottom Line 

We have had our daughter in three other schools, both private and public. Quite simply, an education like the one Maharishi School offers is not available elsewhere. Consciousness-based learning is so important to our children’s entire being. It is beyond powerful, and seeing it in action is mind-blowing. There is a school that combines Yoga, TM, organic meals, a caring and connected community, illustrious alumni, heart-centered teaching, and academic excellence. That school is Maharishi School.

– Janet Jenkins

The Jenkins Family

The Jenkins Family



To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556

Maharishi School – Our Supportive Community

Maharishi School – A Support Network

Our Commitment to Community

At Maharishi School, we know how important a community of support is for a student. We seek to nurture the individual at the core of who they are. Again, this is echoed in our Science of Creative Intelligence Principles and quest to teach our students to know themselves. We know a student needs a fertile community to sink his or her roots deep into so that as the student grows, matures, and realizes his or her potential, the influence and turbulence of daily life do not deter him or her. We continue to cultivate that soil.

Below is a letter from one student who has found refuge and encouragement in our community at Maharishi School.

Community: A Letter From a Student

I have been in the performing arts world for most of my life, taking dance lessons, doing competitive choir, working behind and on stage in musicals and plays, and in speech competition. This has all taught me a lot about one of the Science of Creative Intelligence Principles: “Water the root to enjoy the fruit.”

I have often received the opportunity to play difficult characters, and I feel my study of Science of Creative Intelligence Principle has helped me step up to the plate and play these characters, as well as grow as a performer and a human being. For example this year in speech competition, I play a shy man who struggles with himself being gay and living in a conservative community. He loves his job and community but has to hide a part of himself to be able to enjoy that. The character who is played opposite of me, is different from my character in the sense that he is open and confident in his sexuality, asks my character to write an essay about being a gay man in America, and my character does a wonderful job. Naturally, the other man wants the essay to be published. My character does not want that to happen because it will out him to a community that most likely will not accept him any longer. This made me think about our development of self in the sense that if we cannot be our true selves, especially in any extremely simple way – being gay – in our immediate environment, something is wrong.  We must take care of and accept ourselves before we can do our best work.

Being trans and gay myself, I can relate a lot to the position this character is in. I know that once I came out I felt much more comfortable at school and my ability to perform was instantly much better because I could play male characters. I connected with this character’s shyness, strong belief in doing what is right, nervousness of coming out as gay, and wanting to do things on his own terms. This made me realize that so much of performing is inward. A performer must be comfortable with being on stage and being themselves before we can let go and give into pretending to be someone else. When one is acting, we do not entirely play another person, we are an extension of ourselves. We take a piece of the character and find it in our own being.  One must know themselves and have a strong sense of self to be able to do this.

We must work on ourselves before we can expect and enjoy our best selves and work.

– Josh Halley

Eli Lieb in Maharishi School Auditorium

Eli Lieb in Maharishi School Auditorium


Community Support

In a display of Maharishi School community support, Eli Lieb, an LGBTQ+ ambassador who has worked with The Trevor Project (click here to learn more), visited our school today. He brought a message of encouragement and hope to those who may feel alone, isolated, or different. In our ongoing efforts to always provide a safe, supportive, and accepting environment to everyone within our community, Eli will be hosting a Support Night this Thursday, February 1st, at our school. This event is geared toward students.







To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556

Nut and Bolt – Our Robotics Team Competes

Nut and Bolt – Our Robotics Team Competes

Competition: January 27th, 2018

Meet Our Team

Maharishi School Robotics Team

Maharishi School Robotics Team shows off their skills in a community demonstration.

Nut and Bolt is a nine-person robotics team from Maharishi High School. The robotics team includes five twelfth grade students, three tenth grade students, and one ninth grade student who are all instructed and supervised by Mr. Jones. A Maharishi School Robotics Team representative said, “Out of our nine team members, we have a 5:4 ratio of boys to girls. We have teammates from China, Ethiopia, India, South Korea and United States. With great diversity, we discover and help each other and have created a strong harmony between us.”

Team Growth

FIRST Tech Challenge has been introduced to Maharishi School for three years. Each year, the team has learned and grown. This year, our team has reached a new peak. We have improved immensely in aspects including the robotic design and building, coding, fundraising, journal, engineering notebook, outreach, and sustainability.

Team Goals

Maharishi School’s Robotics Team’s goal this year is to make use of our resources to achieve high-quality development in all the aspects of the challenge. Specifically, we are aim to qualify for the State Competition and continue to be a competitive team in all the competitions with the use of computer vision, strong autonomous skills, and teamwork. Meanwhile, we focus on the general improvement of creative thinking, collaboration, and technical skills of every teammate. We hope to make the FIRST Tech Challenge an experience that’s fulfilling and helpful for students, now and in the future.

Material for this blog post comes from the Robotics Team’s Executive Summary.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
Fairfield, IA 52556

Student-Led Conferences at Maharishi School: A Word From Our Academic Director

Dear Parents,

This year in the Middle and Upper Schools we are introducing student-led conferences, a practice that we believe will support student learning, help develop communication skills and self-confidence, and provide a forum for parents to engage with their children around their goals, aspirations, and achievements.

A Maharishi private day and boarding School Iowa student takes part in a student-led conference with his mother and teacher in Fairfield, Iowa.

The student-led conferences consolidate two priorities of the Maharishi School that have already been introduced, namely the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) and the portfolio. For several years, students have been creating the ILP in their SCI classes, articulating goals for themselves that are meant to reflect growth and to affirm the values and attributes that we embrace as a school.

High school students have also created online portfolios through Pathbrite, an easy-to-use program for collecting and sharing work that represents growth and makes them proud. Increasingly, top colleges and universities are looking for evidence of creativity, passion, and perseverance beyond the limited and often distorted picture that grades and test scores present.

The student-led conference provides a forum for students to share their best work with parents and to reflect honestly on their own goals and aspirations. The very act of reflection itself helps students to consolidate and strengthen concepts that are pivotal to their growth and development. Perhaps most importantly, these conferences provide a natural point for family engagement that will strengthen the relationship between parents, students and the school.

According to the Harvard Family Research Project, “Parent–teacher conferences are an important component of ongoing home-school communication and family involvement in your school. Years of research demonstrate that family involvement in education can lead to positive benefits for children and youth, such as increased school attendance, higher academic performance, and improved attitudes about school. As principal, your leadership will ensure that these conferences achieve their maximum potential.”

We look forward to your feedback on the conferences!

Kaye Jacob - Academic Director at Maharishi private day and boarding School in Fairfield, Iowa.

Kaye Jacob
Academic Director

Our Vibrant Community – Fairfield, Iowa

When I told friends that I was leaving the busy, eclectic Philadelphia suburb that had been home to my daughter and me, I got a lot of head tilts and quizzical expressions.  “But why?”  “Won’t you be bored?”  “What is there to do in Idaho?”

Iowa, people. Iowa.  And after almost ten years of living here, I promise you; I have never been bored.

french fries, mussels, and aioli from the Cider House in Fairfield, Iowa. Photo credit: Cider House InstagramBeyond the constant access to the natural world, and all the activities and outdoor sports that come with it, there are community and cultural events for every group and style. The Iowa food scene is never lacking either, with choices from all over the world, and organic and local food produced right here in Fairfield are as good or better than any I’ve ever tasted.

For a small glimpse of the events in and around Fairfield, check out this calendar from The Iowa Source. I was excited to see that Garrison Keillor will be in Des Moines on the sixth—must score tickets!

Beyond the scenery, the entertainment, and the food, Iowa feels like home for the kind way people treat each other. The balance between friendliness and politeness, interest and tact, is one that feels just right to me. In my younger years, I never would have predicted that the Midwest would be my perfect fit, but life is full of surprises! Iowa Nice is a reality, and it’s what has made Fairfield my hometown of choice.

Fireflies at dusk by Maharishi School alumni Taylor Ross.

Thanks to Taylor Ross and Cider House for the photographs!

Oprah Winfrey Visits Maharishi School

by Christine Albers, Director of ExpansionOprah Winfrey Visits Maharishi School


When Oprah Winfrey walked through the doors of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment on Wednesday, October 19th, I knew I would remember that day for a long time. For several weeks, her Harpo Productions film crew was at the school interviewing students. Rumors circulated that perhaps Oprah might make an appearance, but nothing was certain.

When she actually arrived, it was momentous. The shiny black SUV pulled up inside the school fence, drove along the sidewalk and stopped. Faculty and administrators peered out their office and classroom windows to catch a glimpse of this woman who has touched so many lives.

There she was, Oprah Winfrey, stepping out of her SUV, adjusting her sweater. Is it really her, I wondered? Yes, it was—one of the most famous and powerful women in the world, at little Maharishi School. Dr. Richard Beall, School Head, greeted her. When she saw the school’s name, “Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment,” engraved above the door, she told Richard, “I always wanted to help create an Age of Enlightenment, but I didn’t know how.”

Bob Daniels, Chairman of the School Board, attended a brief ‘Meet and Greet’ with Oprah, where she said, “How have you kept this school a secret for so long? Well, it won’t be a secret any longer.“

She walked up the center staircase to observe the Lower School children practice their walking meditation. Then she went to the Hall of Bliss to see the 5th through 12th-grade girls meditating. She closed her eyes and meditated with them. When her cameraman zoomed in on her, she waved him away. This was a moment for her to relax, too.

Afterward, she spoke to the girls. Kai-Li Diyaljee, a 6th-grade student, remembers what Oprah said: “You’re helping the world. You’re raising consciousness in the world. There are so many people talking about raising consciousness, and you guys are living it. So, YAY for you!” (applause!)

Teachers and staff members gathered in the lobby to greet Oprah as she was leaving. A crew member warned us that Oprah was on a tight schedule, and not to be disappointed if she didn’t talk and visit with us or shake our hands. But when the great woman appeared we were thrilled that she took the time to shake every single person’s hand. And then she stayed a few more moments to address our group.

“Here are our teachers,” she exclaimed. “I love teachers.”

“Teachers can change lives,” she said. “It was my 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan, who changed my life and helped me become the person I am today. So I always honor teachers.“

She continued, “Who knew that there was a school in Iowa based on consciousness? I’ve done a lot of TV shows and often feel like it’s stepping backward. With you guys, it’s a giant leap forward. My whole life I’ve been trying to raise awareness and help people live better lives. You guys are doing this. This is a dream come true to see a school based on consciousness. It’s a very special day to actually see it.”

When all the faculty and staff applauded, Oprah motioned to the group and said,“THANK YOU! You should celebrate yourselves. I’m clapping for you.”

So we all clapped. We clapped for her, she clapped for us, and we concluded with an uplifting wave of mutual love and appreciation. This one woman who can change the world left with a promise,

“The TV show will make people aware of Maharishi School. We will fill the school with students. The world needs to know about you.”

At right: Watch Dr. Oz’s interview of Oprah in which she describes her experience in “TM Town”