symmetry

The Hummingbirds have been exploring symmetry in nature and taking their discoveries back to school for more in-depth conversation and experiments.

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monochrome

Today’s dress-up theme was monochrome – wear the same of one color. Phillip took this awesome panoramic of our color wheel at circle this morning!

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mirrors arc begins

The Mirrors arc officially started yesterday! Gever did a dramatic introduction to the third arc of the year on the cork floor and told us all about how the mirror is a reflection of light and self.

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Who’s the fairest of them all?

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We spent much of the rest of the day experimenting with mirrors and exploring their mysterious ways.

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Looking around corners.

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What you think you are going to see is not what you’re going to get. Christie experiments with the band with the concept of the size of the body when viewed at different distances from a mirror. If you back away, can you see more of your body?

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Reflection of a reflection of a reflection. The challenge was to see someone sitting behind you while you were facing forward.

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Trying to see a person upstairs through a series of mirrors.

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clocks exposition

This week was an incredibly busy one, from putting final touches on actual projects, to writing reflections and taking last bits of feedback for papers, practicing presentations, and setting up the space, all for Exposition night when the kids have the opportunity to show off their work done during the project phase of Clocks. There is more to say about each of their presentations and our reflections on Thursday night’s event, but for now, here are some glimpses into Exposition night:

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Max’s film The Horologist

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Yesterday, Friday, was a lovely, calm day – everyone was tired and happy, wearing red to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We spent the day making cards, watching a bird documentary, eating a fabulous Greek community lunch, having a dance party on the cork floor in the afternoon, and sitting together to say thanks when we opened each other’s Valentine’s cards. School is out for the week while staff plans for the next arc and reflects on Clocks. In the meantime – hooray to the Brightworks students on their first Exposition night of the year!

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Exposition night is coming up on Thursday! There has been intense energy around the school as everyone puts the final touches on their projects and works on the presentations that they will give on Thursday night.

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We’re trying a new format for the Clocks Exposition by having presentations going on in two corners of the school, while science-fair-esque display boards are set up in the central spaces of the school. Some pretty amazing work has been done during this arc – the kids are thrilled and nervous to show off their progress!

allen distinguished educators award

Educators all over the world are watching the blog and have been inspired by what we do with our students at Brightworks and our associated program, Tinkering School. Teachers and summer camp counselors across the United States, in Thailand, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Mexico have emailed or called to ask for guidance in starting their own programs modeled on ours. The programs that Gever has inspired – both Brightworks and Tinkering School – are contributing to the changes in education that the 21st century student actually needs in order to be a flexible, curious, dynamic adult.

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Yesterday, the Paul G. Allen Foundation announced that Gever is an inaugural Allen Distinguished Educator (ADE). The Paul G. Allen Foundation, established by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, funds research around the globe that seeks to change the conventional assumptions and solutions to issues in education, science and technology, arts and culture, and poverty. Their funding supports organizations whose mission is to make unusual solutions to those issues a reality, and they have awarded over $494 million to programs that transform lives, strengthen communities, and foster innovation, creativity, and social progress.

From their press release: ““We look to support the creative and the untapped. We’ve chosen each ADE because we know they have the entrepreneurial mindset to rethink education,” said Jody Allen, co-founder and president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “The approach of every single ADE has the potential to create a life-changing experience for students – opening them to think in different ways, to be curious and turn newfound knowledge into action.””

Gever was recognized for the Arc-based pedagogy that emphasizes hands-on and experience-based learning in the context of a vastly interesting and graspable world. At Brightworks, we put a child’s individuality, creativity, and desire to learn at the forefront of the experience, guiding them to make connections between ideas, see through different perspectives and modes of expression, and use their learning in hands-on, applicable ways.

This ADE award serves as another point of validation for our unique approach to education. Congratulations to Gever!