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Tag Archives: Experiential Learning
By Emily Taylor, IV Form
Are Year-Round Islands Off the Coast of Maine Economically Sustainable?
Editor’s Note: Emily created this presentation while attending the Waynflete Sustainable Ocean Studies Summer Camp through partial funding from The Matthews Fund. (For better clarity images, click here for Google Slide presentation)
By Summer Hornbostel, VI Form
The Long and Winding Road of Brantwood Camp
Editor’s Note: Names have been changed for privacy purposes
The beeping of my watch’s alarm woke me with a start. Snuggling back into my sleeping bag, I enjoyed
thirty more seconds of rest. The cool, misty air of the morning drifted into the cabin, causing goosebumps to run up and down my body. 6:30 am and the first full day of camp lay dauntingly ahead of me. I tiptoed into the main room of the cabin, where twelve campers slept peacefully. I regretted having to wake half of them for their morning shower. The walk to the wayside, or bathroom, through the cool woods was quiet; it was too early in the morning, and in the term, for chit-chat.
Sitting on the wayside porch, timing the girls’ showers on my handy dandy watch, I tried to get to know the campers who were waiting to shower.
“Are you excited for your first real day?” “How did you sleep?” “Yeah, I had a tough time falling asleep, too” “I know, I’m tired, too” “Is this your first year?” (more…)
By Mrs. Barbara Putnam & Her Studio I Class
Drawing a Blank! Lessons from Studio I Art Class
What is it like to see with eyes that learn to notice everything, including what is in between bits of information? What about trying to draw with your non-dominant hand? These are two assignments for Studio I students. Whether you have never risked drawing or have taken many art courses, it is worth remembering what it is like to begin in any discipline.
In the first assignment, “Hard Lines,” students learned that different line widths communicate differently in how we perceive not only a shape but also how “gray” it is. Each student had to randomly pencil out areas to explore these line types while leaving several shapes “blank” or white. One of the areas needed to be drawn directly in felt tip pen with the non-dominant hand… which means that it will be permanent because pen is not erasable. Shaky lines remind us of what it was like when we first began to hold a pencil years ago and how your brain needed to communicate instructions over and over to get your hand to “work.” The white spaces tell us that a shape can be made by the end points of other lines, which is a concept lifted from Geometry.
By Reily Scott, III Form
I Built a Canoe!
Over the summer, I ordered some blueprints, bought some wood, and started on my
seventy-hour journey to buoyancy. For the past three summers, I have built something alongside my dad. Projects have varied from a toolbox to a blacksmith forge. I knew I wanted to build something, so I looked online, but nothing inspired me. After some deep thinking, I decided that my solution should consist of something with fishing because of my dad; oh, and I love the joy of using dangerous power tools! My dad and I searched online for unique canoes that we could construct. Eventually, we came upon a method known as “skin on frame”. This method helped Eskimos construct their boats. Basically, it consists of a seal skin pulled tightly over a wooden frame. Since we were not planning to go to the top or bottom of the world to hunt and skin a seal, we purchased a small tarp of polyester in substitution. (more…)
By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Productivity, Neuroscience, and Deliberate Practice: Deep Work and School (Part 2)
With the school year off to a frenetic start, I am returning to the topic of deep work, which I wrote about in LEO last September. My article, “Make Deep Work Your Super Power,” was supposed to be the first in a series of posts that would connect Georgetown Professor Cal Newport’s book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World to school and learning. “Deep work” is the ability to focus deeply on a challenging task for a specific period of time, blocking out all distractions in order to get stuff done efficiently and well. The fact that I’m writing part 2 of the “series” one year later proves that I have yet to master this skill. Indeed, my failure to build deep work into my own practice is, in part, what motivates this post. (more…)
By Chris Roche, STEM Faculty
The Circuit Engineering Stair Master
The students in my spring “Robotics and Circuits Engineering with Physical Computing” class did it. They pulled it off!! We now have the “Stair Master” currently installed and running in the stairwell off the first floor of the St. Mark’s STEM building. Students and faculty like the installation, and we are looking forward to a phase two expansion that has music!
The “Stair Master” is an installation that allows a flight of stairs to be interactive with the people walking on them. Here are videos showing the Stair Master in action:
Video 1: Click Here
Video 2: Click Here
Video 3: Click Here
When you step on one of the steps in the “Stair Master”, LED light strips light on the stair you are on. The system uses sensors to know which stair you are on, triggering the appropriate lights. There are versions of interactive stairs already existing, such as the musical staircase at the Museum of Science in Boston. However, the “Stair Master” at St. Mark’s was designed and prototyped exclusively by the “Robots and Circuits” class, using class-built knowhow and our prototyping process. (more…)