Blue Band Heart Work

Hi everyone! It’s been a quick and busy start to the new year. Today the band reflected on our journey during heart and how surprised they were that we learned about the heart as a symbol, feelings, friendship, and anatomical hearts all in one arc!

 

He(art)

We started the arc by learning about two artists that were both deeply passionate creators and used heart imagery in their work: Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Then we made our own paintings that show a pose that reflects us.

            

Chairs

Next we designed chairs to practice the idea that “work is love made visible” (Kahlil Gibran). Since our stools were only on loan from the art space, students had to design a chair to use this year. We started by drawing designs and adding measurements based on our bodies and other chairs we like to use. Then they made small, 3D prototypes to see if their design needed any changes and start thinking through. Lastly, after building the chair students spent a day using them and went back into the shop to make any needed changes.

 

Anatomical Hearts

We also learned about how our hearts work by using and making stethoscopes, making a model of blood, dissecting chicken hearts, and talking to a cardiologist.

 

Teamwork

Along the way we’ve been talking about feelings that our close to our heart and how to notice how others are feeling for we can help them. We used role play to help us brainstorm solutions to common social challenges. We have also talked about what makes good teamwork to lay a foundation for all the work we will do together this year. We also talked about how we are in control of our choices and made a remote to help us think of tools to help us stay on the right channel, think through our decisions, and feel encouraged along the way.

Getting inspired about math

To start our year off we used Jo Boelar’s 3 weeks of inspirational math curriculum to think about norms around how we do math as a community and learn about the way our brains work while we do math. We learned how to verbally defend our solutions and about the way our brains grow as we make mistakes and struggle with a problem.

 

Writing a map of our hearts

Lastly we spent heart arc getting to know each other through sharing our interests and stories in writing. We started by making drawing of all the important people, places, activities, and objects that our close to our hearts. Then we wrote many stories about these things. We’ve been working on making mental movies for our readers through using descriptive language, stretching out every small, important action, and using the same tequniques as our favorite authors. One day during our writing study we went to the community garden in the neighborhood to think about how we can use our senses to come up with descriptive language.   

 

Where does water go in a city?

We spent April answering one very interesting questions about cities: where does water come from and go? Come follow us on our water journey:

Writing about the experience of one raindrop traveling from the ocean to the mountains to the clouds and beyond!

Sharing our water stories with the Yellow band (who was also thinking about water in the city).

Making mini watersheds

We talked about point vs. non point pollution by telling the story of Fred the Fish and how various contaminates got from the city into its stream.

Designing water filters to clean Fred’s stream.

Testing our filters.

Exploring pH.

A mountain in the Sierras

Explaining his model of our sewer system.

All the final creations!

 

Although we wrapped up our study of water two weeks ago the curiosity has lived on in student’s independent projects, from adding water treatment centers to our designs to researching the story of Atlantis.

Jumping into City

Hi everyone! As with all things at brightworks Blue Band started City by reflecting and asking questions. Here are are initial efforts to find the answers!

What city is the biggest? How can we find out?

Students were given a table of tool options (string, centimeter and inch cubes, rulers and grid paper) and asked to come up with a stategy to find the perimeter and area of cities they were curious about. We ran into the challenges of using difficult scales and keeping track of lots of numbers.

How can maps help us answer questions?

On the suggestion of another collaborator we tried to solve the famous Bridges of Koenigsberg problem: how can we walk across all seven bridges without going over any bridge more then once? The students eventually realized the task was impossible, but they concluded finding out we can’t do something is just as interesting as discovering we can, even when it feels really frustrating. It was also a fun challenge in creative map making using different materials.

Where does water go?

 

Students have expressed a lot of interest in water this arc. We started by estimating how much water we got in SF each month on average over the last 5 years. It was a nice chance to evaulate our perceptions and start to think about how we can measure rain. It’s also been very rainy this week, so certainly a useful time to think about H2O

      

We then went on a journey as water and reflected where water goes and how it gets there. We went from animals to the ocean to clouds to moutains to streams and into the ground. On Monday we are going to share the story of our journeys with yellow band who has also been exploring water in our city.

 

Our latest exploration was wondering about how water can change along it’s journey and what it can pick up along it’s way. We gathered a collection of our favorite liquids and learned how to find their pH.

 

 

 

 

 

Telling Stories With Cloth

Blue Band has launched into cloth by thinking about the stories told by items made of cloth. We started by thinking about the practical aspect of cloth by touring Joshu + Vela, a leather and canvas bag manufactor in the Mission. We learned about all the tools used to cut and prepare leather:

This machine makes impressions to add lettering or designs to leather.

This machine cuts leather.

We also learned about the process of manufactoring bags from making inrpiration boards to trying various samples before coming up with the final designs. It was great to see a real world example of editing and iterating!

We then tried our own hand at working with leather:

Last week we transitioned to thinking about how cloth helps create items with purposes that go beyond the practicle. In Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker students learned how certain patterns of quilt have been developed to tell cultural and sentements stories. In the Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco we learned about the significance of passing down a keepsake within a family for multiple generations. During project time students started their own quilt squares and pillow case projects:

  

 

Today we went to see portions of the AIDS quilt project that are on display at Grace Cathedral. Students noticed how friends and family had rememberd their loveones by including meaningful images and fabrics.