GR. 12 ADVANCED GLOBAL APPLICATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Teacher: Patty Carver
Assignment: Earth Day Challenge Projects
Details: Students first learned about the generation and disposal of municipal solid and hazardous waste and the implications for our environment. Each girl then had to create a sculpture or infographic about one aspect of waste. Sculptures could be made only of trash or used products and include interactive features presenting the facts. Infographics had to present facts using student-made graphs and charts.
Takeaways: Says Carver, “This project engaged the seniors especially well this year, as they were able to use their creativity in fun yet meaningful ways to express their understanding of environmental issues. The students were so excited to share their work with the broader community.”
View more samples of student work:
Cosmetic Waste Sculpture by Su Shen Ooi
Plastic Waste Sculpture by Julia Thiess
The Impact of E-Waste Sculpture by Aisling Mockler
Plastic Waste Sculpture by Gabriela Tuncer
Cosmetic Waste Infographic by Madison Myers and Ava Spigel
Fast Fashion Infographic by Erin Thomas
Textile Waste Infographic by Isabelle Wilson
Teacher: Melissa Novak
Assignment: Poetry Soundtrack
Details: Students in Music 7 use the software program GarageBand to compose their own musical work. During Poetry Month, students selected a poem that resonated with them and composed music inspired by the poem. They used a variety of pre-recorded sounds in GarageBand, as well as some of their own original work. Finally, they recorded themselves reciting the poem over their soundtrack, then reflected on their work and explained how their musical choices related to the text of the poem.
Takeaways: The project allowed students to explore how deeply connected poetry and music are. By selecting a poem that was meaningful to them and creating music to accompany it, students were able to understand the importance of music as a form of expression and creativity.
GR. 4 SOCIAL STUDIES
Teacher: Margo Zia
Activity: Earth Day Explorations & Virtual Field Trips
Details: In preparation for Earth Day, Mrs. Zia’s fourth graders studied the causes of global plastic pollution and made local connections. This includes reading about Guatemala’s plastic water bottle ban, watching a video about a teenage Brazilian girl spearheading a movement to use bio digesters instead of burning plastic waste, and writing opinion pieces for or against a plastic water bottle ban in the U.S. Every Tuesday, students have also been going on virtual field trips related to their study. This week, they literally put on their parkas and “traveled” to Antarctica (see below)!
Takeaways: Using rich digital tools and multimedia content, students are continuing their in-depth exploration of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and of the world…and loving it. Says Mrs. Zia, “Every Monday they ask me, ‘Where are we going tomorrow on our field trip?’ This has been a fun new tradition for us.”
US SPANISH 5
Teacher: Roxana Lopez
Assignment: Spanish-Language Video Advertisements
Details: Students had to think of a product that they’ve been using during quarantine that requires no electricity, batteries, or technology use. Then, they had to create a video “selling it” to the class. Doing so required them to consider and discuss the advantages of their “unplugged” product versus a more technologically advanced or energy-reliant item. After all the students posted their videos, they all had to leave responses for one another discussing the pros and cons of that product and whether they agreed with the reviewer’s praise.
Takeaways: Fun, creative, functional, and extremely of-the-moment, this project engaged students while helping them build practical vocabulary, persuasive skills, and fluency. At the same time, it gave them an opportunity to consider their time in quarantine and some of the simple pleasures around them—like fresh air (aire libre!), a deck of cards (una baraja de cartas!), or, nuestra favorita, a soft blanket (manta!).
GR. 10-12 ADVANCED CERAMICS
Teacher: Nandini Giridharadas
Details: To help students keep thinking and creating three-dimensionally, they were asked to create dinnerware for a dining table, using any found materials, paper, yarn, and so forth, and any technique like paper mache, quilling, weaving, etc.
Takeaways: This project pushed students to think creatively and manage with whatever materials were easily available. Their teacher says she is proud of the way they problem-solved their way through difficulties and found alternate ways of making their pieces. When a student didn’t want to use up flour for paper mache paste and had to wait for her glue order to arrive, she tried weaving with paper and quilling to make her forms. Another student is now weaving to try and make a napkin! Giridharadas says, “In my mind, this is a true embodiment of find a way or make one!” She adds that the students seem to really be enjoying the project.
GR. 7 MATH
Teachers: Katie Lavelle, Grant Franke, Emily Wilde, Claudia Pinckney
Assignment: Let’s Go Shopping!
Details: Seventh graders have been doing an introductory dive into financial literacy. Students wrote resumes, then were provided with fictitious jobs (and realistic salaries) that aligned with their interests and dreams. Over the past three weeks, the girls have been learning valuable lessons on budgeting, paying taxes, expenses, and 401k's. This week, students focused on calculating discounts and markups. The girls applied the percent of change formula to calculate discounts on two items of their choosing: a home item and a piece of apparel. From swings to shirts to stationery, the girls found creative items and learned about the importance of shopping for a bargain–particularly important in this time of economic uncertainly! Students will finish out the financial literacy project by learning the importance of charitable giving and learning how to earn promotions in their job field.
Takeaways: Through this lesson and greater unit, students are learning and practicing math using easy-to-understand, real-world applications, while also building fundamental life skills.