mendocino woodlands

Each year, the entire Brightworks community heads to the redwood forests in Mendocino to enjoy nature, each other’s company, and smell the clean air. We were so happy to be able to visit the trees and the beach last week. Here are some photo highlights from the week!

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silence

The Orange Band was given a very simple prompt for one of their photo safaris last week: they were told to take pictures of Silence in and around the school. Their interpretations varied, but the results were wonderful:

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strobe photography

On Friday, Aaron came in to work with the Blue Band and show them how strobe photography works. They had discussed the work of Harold E. Edgerton, who had experimented with high speed photography in the 60s (the bullet flying through an apple, splitting cards in half, etc) and then they tried some of their own. The results are pretty stunning:

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catch-up

The blog has been difficult to post in the last week because the internet has been faulty at the school, but we’re back! Here’s a photo-look at what we’ve been up to:

Dave came in to talk to us about neuroscience and the way the eye works to communicate with the brain to send signals about what we see and what we construct. Turns out, our eye only really gathers information from a point the size of our two thumbnails together; the rest our brain fills in with what it can assume about what’s around us. “We are creating our reality at a cellular level,” he said, and demonstrated the tricks our eyes play on us with some pretty amazing optical illusions. The kids were a spectacular audience!

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The Yellow Band started constructing a huge camera obscura in the media room and research lab by covering all entrances to make it really dark.

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Trips to the darkroom have continued and are resulting in some beautiful black and white photos of life in San Francisco, from the perspective of a Brightworks student.

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The Orange Band visited the California Academy of Sciences and did a photo safari in the garden.

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Community Friday was a blast, as always.

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And Ellen made a thought-provoking, awesome Photograph art display in the art studio using the letters from a nearby photography store that (really unfortunately) recently closed.

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cow eyes

As part of their study of the eye, the Orange Band did a cow eye dissection to get a first hand look at the parts of an eye and the way it functions like a camera.

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The Red Band followed suit on Friday.

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the optics hall

As happens so often, the Exploratorium is one of the best resources for the arcs at Brightworks. This week, the Orange and Green bands visited the Optics Hall for a deeper exploration of lenses, optics, and eyes as they think about the mechanics of a camera.

The Orange Band went exploring with a focus on the eye, looking at the exhibits that experimented with dialating pupils, saw the white blood cells flowing through the eye, and over-saturated the cones in their foveae. They also observed a cow eye dissection in preparation for their own!

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The Green Band went to the museum with a focus on light. Their explorations led them through the light exhibits as a follow-up to a discussion they had on Tuesday about the electromagnetic spectrum and the questions they asked, like: “What determines different colors?”, “Why don’t we feel color when we can feel other kids of light?”, “How is light made?” and “Why don’t I feel light entering my eye?”

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Many of their questions were answered – which, of course, led to more questions. Endless curiosity.