Orange Band: Human, Week 15

We had an awesome week: Expo Night, Stow Lake field trip with the Red Band, Beach Day, and SFMOMA this morning. The copy you’ll read below is the letter I wrote each Orange Bander to close our Class Meeting Journal.

Dear Emilio, Gita, Isaac, Oscar, Ramses, Sadie and Tesla,

One last group photo as we left the MOMA this morning.

One last group photo as we left the MOMA this morning.

We Made it! We’ve had so much fun working hard and learning together.

Tesla and Sadie were our posting putting up team! While some kiddos finished typing the captions for their posters and Gita worked on her skull, those two helped everyone out by putting on brown paper backing and using a mallet and thumbtacks to hang their bandmates posters for Expo Night.

Tesla and Sadie were our posting putting up team! While some kiddos finished typing the captions for their posters and Gita worked on her skull, those two helped everyone out by putting on brown paper backing and using a mallet and thumbtacks to hang their bandmates posters for Expo Night.

We’ve laughed, cried, broken, fixed, played and worked our way through 37 weeks of school–wowee!

Gita had her work cut out for her on Monday afternoon. Since her second clay skull dried inside the cast, it cracked as we tried to remove the plaster. Amanda Simons came down to help take the cast off and get her started fitting the puzzle pieces back together. After about an hour and a half of piecing them together, and trying to glue them together, we decided it would be quicker to tape the cast back together and make another skull.

Gita had her work cut out for her on Monday afternoon. Since her second clay skull dried inside the cast, it cracked as we tried to remove the plaster. Amanda Simons came down to help take the cast off and get her started fitting the puzzle pieces back together. After about an hour and a half of piecing them together, and trying to glue them together, we decided it would be quicker to tape the cast back together and make another skull.

Throughout, y’all have come to our class meetings with honesty, sincerity and vulnerability.

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Emilio yelled, “This way!” to lead his bandmates toward the bridge over Huntington Falls at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Isaac and Reyahn climbing a tangle of tree trunks on our field trip to Stow Lake.

Isaac and Reyahn climbing a tangle of tree trunks on our field trip to Stow Lake.

Because of your caring nature and willingness to take emotional risks, we’ve grown so much as friends.

Oscar and Emilio hung out all day for Beach Day. Because they really like each other.

Oscar and Emilio hung out all day for Beach Day. Because they really like each other.

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Ramses, Sadie, Gita and Tesla squeezed in a quick game of Families on the stadium seating alongside Richard Serra’s Sequence at SFMOMA.

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The kiddos make their way through the sculpture. We looked back to our study of labyrinths during the Rock Arc, and forward to our study of the movement of things by Land next year. Did you know that Serra’s sculpture weighs over 200 tons?

Love,

Piper

 

Orange Band: Human, Weeks 13 & 14

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!

Sadie takes a snuggle break with our human body model, while she, Isaac, and Tesla work on building a stand to hold up our human.

Sadie takes a snuggle break with our human body model, while she, Isaac, and Tesla work on building a stand to hold up our human.

Towards the end of expression, everything really comes together. That date on the calendar is no longer an idea of the future.

IT’S NEXT WEEK.

IT’S TOMORROW.

IT’S IN AN HOUR.

Coming back from Kid Classroom Week, the kiddos were really ready to get some adult guidance back. Huh, who woulda thought?

So, on Monday morning, we hit the ground running.

Oscar trims the lego flat board that his digestive system is built on to make it more neck and shoulder shaped.

Oscar trims the lego flat board that his digestive system is built on to make it more neck and shoulder shaped.

All week we chugged along on assembling our body parts and working on our presentations.We split into two groups: working on the stand for our body model, and working on our presentations. For our presentations, we thought about what information we should include, and the kiddos decided their presentations should touch on: their research, their process, and what they learned. I went through my documentation photos with each Orange Bander, letting them choose the pictures they’d like to include in their slides. Then, they could write either: notes on the research, process and findings, or captions for their pictures.

Gita writes notes to help her practice for her presentation. She divided her presentation speech into her research, process and mistakes she made.

Gita writes notes to help her practice for her presentation. She divided her presentation speech into her research, process and mistakes she made.

Sadie and Tesla work on adding supports to the stand that will hold up our human body model.

Sadie and Tesla work on adding supports to the stand that will hold up our human body model.

Isaac and Oscar delicately slide Oscar's digestive system into the torso of our human.

Isaac and Oscar delicately slide Oscar’s digestive system into the torso of our human.

Then, on Thursday, we couldn’t prepare anymore. It was time to present! In the caption for each photo, I included an excerpt from each kiddos’ journal entry. This week, they thought about something they particularly enjoyed this year.

Sadie! "I liked my human, because it was kind of hard and it was also fun."

Sadie! “I liked my human, because it was kind of hard and it was also fun.”

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Gita! “This year my favorite day or project was making the play because we all got to work together on one thing and I like that.”

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Oscar! “Field trips!”

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Emilio! “I like project work.”

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Isaac! “I liked Class Meeting a lot because it was a great way for us to solve problems.”

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Ramses!

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Tesla! “I really really liked the play because I liked making costumes and I like being in front of an audience. And I liked going to the Exploratorium because it was a field trip for learning.”

For weeks, on our weekly trips to the Treat Commons Garden for Class Meeting, there has been an ice cream man ringing his bell and driving the kiddos totally insane. So, I promised one Orange Bander who particularly enjoyed our time at the garden that we would do something special for our last Class Meeting. We decided to make treats, because we couldn’t count on the ice cream man being there. We looked through recipes, and Isaac decided to make horchata popsicles–yum! So, on Tuesday we soaked rice, almonds and cinnamon, then on Wednesday we blenderized them and strained the slurry through cheesecloth, poured the sweet milk into big ice cube trays. Boom, popsicles! We kept our project under wraps, and made it to the garden with a delicious surprise for everyone.

Emilio and Isaac enjoying their horchata popsicles–that Isaac and I made–on a shady bench in the garden. Yum!

With no new entries in our journal, we didn’t need to talk through any conflicts. Instead, we shared appreciations and lots of positivity for each other. We talked about why Class Meeting worked so well for us this year. Kiddos appreciated the addition of the journal, so that we could keep a record of problems and solutions, and the structure of Thich Nhat Hahn’s Flowering Waters meditation for our weekly meetings. They noticed how we approached problems when people had had a chance to cool off, so that we didn’t speak to each other with anger, and other members of the band could share advice to help solve problems. Each kiddo has even asked for a copy of the journal, as they said, to have a record of the year and resource for solving problems in the future.

Next week, we’ll have a few awesome field trips, show off our assembled human body model at Expo Night, spend a playful day at the beach with the whole school, reflect on our year, and look ahead to next year. Expect a post full of pictures for our last week of school!

Violet Band: (Second to) Last Week of School

Presentations started this week. The afternoons are full of other bands showing off their hard work. Our presentation afternoon isn’t until next Monday, so we’ve been furiously working to finish our projects and create our presentations and get the space set up (broken down?!) for next week – our last week of the school year.

Jack’s project was to build a robotic arm. He prototyped it out of foam core, and then learned computer-design through fusion360 to 3D print his final iteration. This project evolved into his end-of-year arc project, and it was awesome. To supplement his work, he also researched and wrote a paper on robotic arms and their use in space. Here’s his first prototype (with foam in the background):

Here’s his second:

For her project, Zada researched, interviewed, surveyed people and experts around the country on their understanding of altruism. Skeptical that true altruism exists, she explored the research in an unbiased, objective way in order to analyze and see if humans are truly capable of giving back and being selfless, or if the motive is still self-serving. Zada wrote a research paper to share her findings.

Cyrus’ big project was to learn Python. To do this, he worked through several smaller projects, building off of his knowledge to create the next one. Through Trinket, he started with creating different image generators, with lines, angles, and colors varying for each version. The second project was to understand circles and parabolas, drawing them through code. The final project was to create a self-sustaining conversation. Programming two different voices and randomizing their outputs – but still making the conversation make sense – was the final step on this iteration of his end-of-year arc project. Here’s a slide from part of his work:

Max’s project was to work with the city of San Francisco to help support RC pilots. Currently, the city’s policy bans all flight apparatuses in parks, but he’s trying to update that. In this project, he presented a proposal to the SF Parks and Rec department and was left with a promising, “let’s see what we can do.”

Laurel‘s doing a couple of different projects. For one, she programmed a baby arduino screen to read and mimic human facial emotions. For the other, she’s building a tesla coil. This big, beautiful copper coil that sparks lightning and makes music. She spent weeks on both projects, reaching out to various experts, balancing design and debugging, and building really awesome work. She’s still in the middle of her tesla coil – it’s huge and powerful. Here’s a diagram of how it works:

Cassandra decided to program a “RamsBot” in Trinket. Sitting to chat with her chatbot replicated a conversation with her brother, Ramses. It was perfect. Continuing her long-term project, Cassandra further developed her space-station. After finishing (and creating a model of) the algae-based air filtration system during seed arc, she switched gears and began designing all of the blueprints for her floating city in space. She even built a to-scale paper model!

Sayuri and Josh, of course, decided to do a community building project. They partnered with a local nonprofit organization, Lava Mae, to design a fundraiser. Lava Mae turns old muni buses into mobile shower stations for the homeless in SF. Eventually, Grace and Harry were also added into the project. The night of the event, the entire band helped support the Lava Mae team, and we raised over $1000 from donations alone! The even happened at the very end of the year, and served as their arc project. They’re using the week to wrap up the paperwork and the art deliveries. (See images from the night in the blog post below 🙂

For most of the arc, Harry spent time working on his skin. He went to several weeks of intensive skin treatment and therapy, and was able to come back at the end of the arc looking and feeling great. We missed him so much, but are so happy he was able to work on his “human” ! He decided to share about this journey during presentations on Monday – which is a bold and vulnerable move. I’m really proud of him.

While all of this is going on, everyone is mostly interested in making sure the “Alan Rickman Experience” – a tribute show to David Bowie and Prince – goes off without a hitch next week.

Photos from Unbelavable Night!

Photos from the Violet Band art auction to support Lava Mae yesterday during our Unbelavable Night!

We raised over $1000 in donations alone, and are so happy to give back and strengthen our community with partner (and future BWX family!) Lava Mae.

This was truly an all-hands-on-deck event – from donating art, to setting up the space, to being our guest, to bidding on the goods! We truly appreciated the support and commitment from our school in our hard work. It could not have happened without them.

The Violet Band is so happy to have had this shared experience, and grateful to give back to our community during Human Arc.

And, as an added bonus, people came in from the street and asked if we were a professional art gallery! 8)

Violet Band: An Unbelavable Night

After several weeks of work and planning, tonight is the big night! Students in Violet Band partnered with different charity organizations over the course of the year to help support and give back to Bay Area communities. Through their work, they were inspired to put on…

AN UNBELAVABLE NIGHT – 


An art auction hosted by the Violet Band to support Lava Mae, a nonprofit in the city that turns retired muni buses into mobile shower stations.

For information and tickets, you can see more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-unbelavable-night-tickets-25326685799

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Welcome to An Unbelavable Night! 

The High School students at SF Brightworks, in collaboration with Lava Mae, present an Unbelavable Night: an art auction to help benefit San Francisco’s homeless population. 

Lava Mae is a nonprofit working to redesign decommissioned SF MUNI buses into state-of-the-art sanitation and shower stations for those without access to these resources. Brightworks partnered with Lava Mae earlier this year to help support their volunteer efforts, and together we want to give back to the city. 

Our Unbelavable Night will be held at the new Brightworks campus extension at 1920 Bryant St. 

Join us for a night of drinks, snacks, and music while viewing and bidding on exquisite student and professional art pieces from around the Bay Area. All proceeds from the silent auction and event will go to supporting Lava Mae’s mission to bring cleanliness and dignity to the people of San Francisco. 

Tickets are available by donation. Donations are also accepted the night of. 


See you there! 

Express Yourself

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The red band wrapped up exploration with a few very special trips to get them thinking about how to express what they have learned throughout the arc. We took a drive down to Menlo Park to visit Pace Arts and their current exhibit, “Living Digital Space and Future Parks” by teamLab. This visit helped a few of our bandmates decide to work on a video game project for expression. Our last visit was to our neightbor KQED. We learned about radio and television and visited the newsroom. After this trip, we had a bandmate choose to create a video project.

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The red band has continued to visit and care for our plants at The Benches garden. While we wait to see if our peas will continue to sprout or die off we have been using the garden to work on our reading and speaking fluency with reader’s theater productions. So far we have read The Little Red Hen and The Tortoise and the Hare.

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Throughout Human we have continued to work of our seed project, a snack bar/slide. If you can remember we had the working parts to hang out underneath (minus a floor and windows), a ladder to climb up (though the kids wanted to add rails to the top for safety), and a wooden slide (ouch, splinters). So we set out to correct these features and we cannot wait to share it with you all soon.

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The kids have added a small mural on the side to tie it into the human arc and we had our first bake sale. For our bake sale we set out to make something the whole school could enjoy (vegan, gluten-free, and delicious) so we settled on cookies and created our shopping list with estimated cost sheet. After we paid back the school for the money we borrowed we had a profit of $17 which the kids have decided to donate to the Violet band’s fundraiser.

 

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The projects that emerged from human took a wonderfully unexpected turn and we are all giving 100% to learn more about the science of perfume, creating video games, and producing videos and look forward to sharing it with you soon.