Student Spotlight

This week, we’d like to share excerpts from our students’ blogs and some photos from class. We encourage you to follow the links to their full post and leave them a comment. The list of sophomore and junior blogs can be found here.

Jody B. on Growth Mindset:
The current academic procedure does not call for improvement, it calls for “mastery” on a specific topic. My generation was taught on a systematic approach to teaching children as much as they can, as fast as they can. After a unit has passed and a grade has been placed on a unit test, regardless of the final grade and the extent of knowledge, the student must press on to keep up with the class.  Furthermore, in terms of the grading process, I maintain a fixed mindset. If I receive a bad grade, my thought is not what I did wrong, but what other assignments will be used to improve my average.

This is the problem.

Isabella on being an outsider in the art community:
Within the art community, everyone seems to have a distinctive art style and they know what path they want to take with their art. I have yet to fully grasp my style, I don’t understand what genre of art I prefer either. I used to feel as though I was just cherry-picking the features from art I liked and including it in my own. In the art community, so many people are trying to improve and equally as many are trying to teach others how to do so. It’s a community that runs on the philosophy that everyone can create art and everyone can be included, yet I still felt like an outsider.


Jody, Isabella, and their team calibrate sensors in STEM class.

Nicole W. on Bernoulli’s equation:
After deriving Bernoulli’s equation, applying what I know about kinetic energy, potential energy, Newton’s equations, Work, Conservation of Energy I wondered how can this apply the real world?

As I was reading past the assigned text to understand Bernoulli’s equation, I was able to discover how Bernoulli’s equation is applied to the everyday world by reading more of  “Openstax College Physics”.

What I found most interesting was how the equation applied to what happens when a speeding car passes a truck on the highway, how an airplane flies, and how a sailboat sails into the wind.


Nicole’s work with Bernoulli’s equation followed experiments with water pumps in STEM.

Shiv V. on building towers from paper and pasta
It took three days of hands-on projects and an abnormally large amount of effort to come to the realization that building towers, is never simply just building towers. While I was aware that certain elements of resilience, cooperation, and logic were needed to successfully complete the tasks, it did not occur to me that certain dynamics and principles that went into specifically building the towers could be applied to future academic work in Innovation Lab.


Alex C., “Outsiders”
It amuses me how whenever your label is changed in high school it makes you a whole new person though most people never notice it. Looking at all these other tables with groups of friends laughing loudly, sometimes to the point of tears, I start thinking what other people have observed me laughing while with my friends. Perhaps I am not the only outside observer, who knows.


Alex and her teammate plan for their project.

Kathryn P.’s reflection on learning:
In a traditional classroom, students can zone out a teacher’s lecturing if they are tired that day. On the other hand, in Innovation Lab, a student is responsible for finding answers to problems as they arise during the process of completing projects. Teachers play a different role in the classroom, as they are more advisers than lecturers.  This way, students are in charge of their own learning.  I find that I am more engaged with my learning and more curious about different subjects we are studying.

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