This past Friday marked the end of the first quarter. The sophomore class finished up their intellect themed projects. The Humanities muckrakers project and documentaries were finished and the STEM room was abuzz with the breakdown of Air, Soil and Water projects. The juniors were finishing an organized election debate, and their aeroponics project journals are all updated for grading. But the projects aren’t really over. As the sophomores tour the MOMA today and the juniors switch into their civics curriculum the first quarter projects will live on. The interviewing and documentary skills of being a muckraker will carry into their interdisciplinary modernism project and some air, soil, and water projects will continue on, simply for the sake of continuing to produce data and food in some cases. Some students found cases to further develop their explorations in the realm of oil spill recovery, and ocean acidification. The focus on the elections will carry the juniors into the government “machine” in the coming weeks. The aeroponics projects are still on pace to have a harvest before the holiday break, and may go even beyond.
The projects that we see have so much effort put into them that they tend to take on a life of their own. They don’t end with the confines of a grading structure. The skills carry forward, the documentaries live on, and the plants must be kept alive for as long as we can. The marking period often ends with students cleaning out their binders full of notes and only referring back to them for midterm exams. Not here. Skills are reused, research is appended, and essays may be revised for a future publication. No project really ends here. They may lie dormant, but often things are brought up and reanimated into a new form. So while the sophomores use chemistry in their modernism project and the juniors build machines, their first quarter projects live on (some quite literally) to make an impact somewhere else besides in a grade book.