One More Round of Science Quests!
We are excited to announce our Quests and other focus areas for each of our four mixed-age studios for the upcoming session. This is our third of three science themed sessions, where learners have the opportunity to explore various scientific topics in a very hands on way. You can read more about our learning design here.
Sparks | Backyard Farmer ??
Backyard Farmer Theme: Heroes will learn about the basics of how plants grow and pollinate, along with different forms of gardening. They will plant their own individual seeds, start a hydroponics garden in the studio, learn about the farm to table process, and then finish the session by helping plant and tend to a community garden here on campus! There are a few other surprises in store for them this session that we will unveil as we go!
Discovery | urban gardening Quest ?
Imagine tomorrow you and your family decided to move to a farm in Idaho. This farm is over 6 hours from the nearest grocery store. Would you be able survive the winter and grow enough fresh food to stay healthy?
Imagine you and your family live in a large city where the cost of produce is too expensive to purchase large amounts of organic food regularly. All you have is a small patio in which to grow the organic food you desire. Would you be able to build a functional garden to meet your family's needs?
Welcome to the Community Garden, a place where together we will experiment and explore the mysteries of growth in gardening and in ourselves!
In this quest, heroes not only become gardeners, but also take on the title of “scientist” as they explore many aspects of plant science. As gardeners, they take on the responsibilities of planning and raising a garden, then observing it and maintaining it with diligence.
Odyssey | Coding & Robitics Quest ?? ?
In this quest, Heroes will embark on a journey to learn the basics of coding, a journey that will culminate in a real-life exploration of the world of robotics. During the first half of the session heroes will be learning to code through a course on Code.org.
For the last two weeks, teams will get their own mBot Robot to build, program, and use to compete in different challenges! Throughout the Quest heroes will gain a basic understanding of programming concepts, hone and develop problem-solving skills through “debugging”, develop an awareness and curiosity about the role technology currently plays and will play in their lives, and learn about innovators and disruptors throughout history in various technology-related fields.
Due to the nature of this quest, this will be a more screen-intensive session. Because of this, we are inviting families to challenge themselves to limit screen time at home or even accept the challenge to have an at-home screen-free session!
We will also focus on incorporating as much outdoor time this session- we have two Wilderness Wednesdays, brain breaks and free times throughout the day, and we’ll go outside for core skills, DEAR, and Writers Workshop whenever the weather is nice!
Writers Workshop - Random Word Writing
At various points in the week, heroes will have 30 minutes to write freely and creatively about whatever they want- they can continue their Hero’s Journey story from their comic book, create a new science-fiction novel, write a biography filled with their own stories, or whatever else comes to mind- but it comes with a twist! Before they begin writing each day, the studio will get 5 randomly generated words that they’ll need to incorporate into their writing!
Adventure | Plant Genetics??
Quest this session will be part three of the Biology cycle for the year and will feature a dive into gardening from a few different angles. The first week of the session the studio will take a crash course in plant reproduction and genetics and the will begin an attempt to cross breed two different plants. They will then transition into the very practical side of gardening as they plan, construct, and plan an Acton community garden (for the Adventure, Discovery, and Spark studios). They will close out the session by continuing to care for their plants and garden and exploring gardening and agriculture from the biosphere angle as well as the role that plants play in human health.
Communication will feature a few different options for projects this session, but most of the heroes will be diving into the Apprenticeship search process. Every Adventure hero is challenged to complete at least three apprenticeships before moving on to Launch Pad, starting with at least 40 hours un-paid, and culminating with 120 hours, part of which is paid. Heroes will use a tried and true recipe for things like identifying great opportunities, sending an email that gets noticed, and making a compelling in person pitch. In addition to applying communication to the real world in an important and meaningful way, this badge (and those that follow) is great preparation for the real world job search process and for making connections with mentors and business leaders.
Civilization work will be focused on US and world history at the turn of the century. Heroes will be experimenting with a bit of a twist on the process this session - Instead of the typical Socratic discussion each week, heroes will break into teams and takes sides and hold mini debates over that day's "big question."