7th Grade Identity Project
This year, 7th grade students tackled the question “Who am I?” using an interdisciplinary approach—in both Science and History class. In Science, students explored the biological and genetic factors of their identity, such as cellular composition, traits, and gender. In History, students learned about the 8 cultural identifiers and considered the
non-genetic features of their identities, such as race, gender, and religion. The cross-curricular Identity unit culminated in a project where students explored their personal identity through both subjects’ lenses.
The library made the TIDES Garage and all of its Maker supplies available to the students during the culminating project. Pins were created, clothing were sown, Rube Goldberg machines were tinkered with, and interactive computer programs were coded and their interfaces built. It was interesting to see the students find novel ways to express what they had learned through making.
Middle School Passion Projects
Middle and Upper School Librarian Mrs. Lesak, along with 4-8 STEM teacher Mr. Colestock, spent February and March facilitating the Passion Project cycle, a learning experience for middle school students who are interested in diving into a question, curiosity, or passion of their choice. Students and facilitators met regularly as a group to ask questions, share their work, help each other, and talk about thier learning process. Students used design thinking strategies and makerspace tools—3D printers, sewing machines, robotics equipment, and more—to design, create, and build anything they could dream of. Students designed and produced jewelry, soaps, "squishies," and even engaged in the Japanese art of dorodango. Many students sold their final products to raise money for charities including Smile International, Lurie Children's Hospital Emergency Fund, Bookwallah, and the ASPCA.