Monday, June 20, 2016

Retro Projects

At the end of every year, the seventh graders are tasked with revisiting a topic they encountered earlier in their academic career and then designing and executing a project that deepens and/or broadens their understanding of that topic. Once the project is completed, they conduct an Exhibition, which, as is conventional for that session, includes an explanation of the project and a lesson for attendees, adults and kids, that addresses the subject matter. Here is this year's crop.

Evan took a look back at Chinua Achebe's classic Nigerian novel, Things Fall Apart, by exploring three of that country's 521 different languages: Yoruba, Ibo, and Hausa. Evan taught us a few words in each language and then represented the difficulty of cross-communication by tasking partners with building a popsicle-stick house. The catch was that the partners had to work from vocabulary lists: one in Yoruba and one in Ibo.

Emma & Ellie followed up on their Civic Project on Little Free Libraries in Ypsilanti by working on a Summers-Knoll version. They whitewashed the little cabinet, attached the doors, put together a pile of books, and designed a final paint job featuring dragons and ivy. Our LFL will be installed outside the school in the fall.

Lindsay revisited her Fish Tank sessions by creating a document for future Fish Tankers giving clear, specific, and thorough step-by-step instructions on how to set up a tank. She showed us how to siphon water out of a tank, a crucial step in cleaning tanks, and we did so, not spilling too much water in the process.

Gabe looked back on his commercial shoot from fifth grade by showing and critiquing a series of short clips from Apple presentations in which the words amazing and incredible and such were repeated a hundred times or more. He then scripted and shot a parody iPhone commercial in which the features were greatly exaggerated in a technically honest fashion. Finally, Gabe invited us to invent a new product and concoct and advertising scheme to convince consumers that they desperately needed a product they had never heard of.

Marcellin revisited the days of Mars Out of Time by conceiving, designing, and building (in clay) a drone, or, in this case, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, that could function as a photography satellite on the planet Mars. Marcellin gave us instructions on requirements for such a vehicle and invited his attendees to design their own versions of the aircraft.

No comments:

Post a Comment