The beginning of a second school year brought changes to the physical school space, the number of students who occupied the building, the number of teachers, the names of the bands, the flow of the day, and the kinds of Arcs we venture on.
To start the new year, we looked at the world through a grain of Salt. The students and their collaborators explored the everyday roles that salt plays in our cells, our food, our playdough. With a wider lens they saw the vast role salt has played in wars that have been fought and in world exploration through ships and wagon trains made possible because of food preservation. We used the topic of Salt as a seed from which many ideas grew and a myriad of projects sprouted.
The members of the Rubber Band explored the chemicals that combine to turn poisons in to harmless salt and how salt changes the body and our food. Their projects ranged from turning pool and drain cleaners into salt and creating fireworks to a pop-up one-night restaurant and salty works of art. The Sand Leopards focused on the role salt played in ancient cultures like Mesopotamia and Egypt, with projects on animal intelligence, important cultural artifacts, and newspaper reporting.
The Phantoms explored the chemical make-up of NaCl and how salt affects chemical reactions in the body. They delved deep in projects like expressing covalent bonding through dance, making toys powered by salt, and lifting 100 pounds of salt. The Coyotes studied fermentation through experiments with cabbage and diffusion by looking at watercolor paintings. Their projects were bite-sized examinations of different kinds of salt from around the world, watercolor paintings affected by salt, the melting rate of salted snow, and re-creations of salt flats in nature.
See more about Salt on the blog.