Power to the Orange Band!

How is change made in society? Who should make change–and for whom?

The Orange Band is certainly up to the task of answering these questions!

Orange Band’s Cloth Brainstorm at the beginning of the arc

Throughout the Cloth Arc, the Orange Band has explored the many stories that cloth tells. We have examined the implications of gender conformity in clothing choices and options; we have looked at the history embedded in cloth arts such as sewing, knitting, weaving, and quilting. Dress codes, beauty standards – or the lack thereof – came up often in our discussions, readings, and research. We also began to touch on the symbolisms of power and politics that cloth can carry, dependent upon the symbols worn, choices made, and the individuals wearing them.

The Orange Band’s current shared novel, One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia, takes place in Oakland, California, in the year 1968. The three sisters who travel across country from Brooklyn to the Bay Area encounter diversity, social justice movements, fashion as political statement, and, of course, the Black Panther Party.

Before we began the book, kiddos had an opportunity to learn about the historical context of the post-Civil Rights Era in the United States. We watched the Power! (1966-1968) episode from the award-winning documentary Eyes on the Prize. It was fascinating to discuss the differences — and similarities — between how race, systems of power and oppression, and community protest and response were handled sixty years ago, and today. We learned of the formation of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, and the country’s response to the Party’s imagery, community programs, and messages for social and economic change.

 

Orange Banders used the Black Panther Party’s Ten Point Program, reflecting the needs of the communities the Black Panther Party advocated for and worked to support with free breakfast programs for children, health services, adult education, free clothing programs, to name a few.

And what did the Orange Band kiddos see as changes that need to happen – that must happen – in our communities? Their ten point programs quickly became multi-point programs, reflecting the depth and sensitivity that make this group of students so very special. At the least (and most), these Multi-Point Programs reflect the urgency for change, equity, and love that lives deeply in each member of the Orange Band.

Romero’s Ten Point Program

 

Sadie’s Initial Eleven Point Program

Sadie’s Twelve Point Program:

  1. We want all children to have a say in their education.
  2. We want all poachers to stop hunting endangered animals.
  3. We want all animal testing to stop.
  4. Everyone has good health care.
  5. We want people to have good food and clean water.
  6. Everyone gets a good job with good payment.
  7. People have good housing and nice shelter.
  8. Women have the right to take birth control.
  9. Kids need to have one hour of exercise.
  10. Everyone gets the tools they need to fill their curiosity.
  11. All is welcome in the world.
  12. We want everyone to get off their phones.

    Sadie’s Display Program Poster

     

Ramses captured his perfect society in his Fourteen Point Program

Tam’s Ten Point Program – Short, sweet, and goes straight to the Heart of everything.

  1. We want freedom.
  2. We want life.
  3. We want food.
  4. We want shelter.
  5. We want respect.
  6. We want love!
  7. We want peace!
  8. No more littering.
  9. Give to the homeless.
  10. More change!

My Ten Point Program, by Soleil Warner:

  1. I want animal justice, freedom for animals to be respected and taken care of.
  2. I want rights for people of color.
  3. I want free health care for all in need.
  4. I want all to have a roof over their head.
  5. I want all animals to stop being hurt by poachers.
  6. I want all animals to live freely in their correct habitat.
  7. I want rights for nature and the environment and for there to be less global warming and littering.
  8. I want women’s rights. All women should be treated the same as everyone else.
  9. Cops should be more nice to people of color.
  10. I want all families to get free…health care, food, water, for the families that need it.
  11. I want more money to get paid to the teachers.

Lily’s Seven Point Plan delivers her calls for change just as eloquently with words as it does with her illustrations:

In the Cloth Percolators

The Orange Band has had the luxury of many Cloth experiences during Exploration. While there are still a few adventures and outings left in the weeks after Winter Break, we took some time in the week before our hiatus to read about the cloth related topics that the kiddos found interesting and intriguing. Their research revealed stories about gender bias in the shoe industry, a brief history of pant in ancient Rome, and fiber advances inspired by spider silk.  Then, kiddos practiced their summary writing skills, necessary tools in their upcoming Expression Projects. Enjoy the Orange Band’s recent research!


The Clarks Shoe Company

By Soleil

The problem began when The Clark’s Shoe Company in the United Kingdom, started selling “The Dolly Babe” and the “Leader” shoes. The “Dolly Babe” (the version for girls) was made with black leather as well as the “Leader,” but the “Dolly Babe” had detail of a pink insole printed with hearts while the “Leader” (the version for boys) had a design of a football, which stays on sale. Also, the “Dolly Babe” was so uncomfortable and not sturdy. Jemma Moonie-Dalton is a parent who didn’t want her daughter to have the “Dolly Babe” shoes. The article states that, “she does not want her daughter to avoid puddles. Her daughter should play games. She does not want her daughter to worry about getting her shoes dirty.” The boys shoes were built for running and climbing and playing. That shows a stereotype for boys and girls.  Then, there were so many complaints from the parents of the students about how the shoes were so unfair, that the Clark’s Company took their shoes off the shelves. The point the author was trying to make is that there are still stereotypes around boys and girls right this second and that we should stay aware of that.


How pants in Ancient Rome went from banned to required

By Sadie

The problem began when the Romans banned pants. They wore tunics instead because it was extremely warm in that spot. They decided to  because winter was coming and they would freeze to death because the tunics were too short. Then, people wore pants all the time in Rome.

At the beginning people think that pants were always worn. Before that, the Romans banned pants because they were for “savages.” The Gauls group triggered that. Then, soon after Rome’s started wearing trousers because it was cold at the battlefield and soon became really popular. Next, the ban said that “who ever wore trousers would be exiled.” The reason why is that people couldn’t tell if you were a civilians and soldiers apart because it was confusing. The ban soon was lifted and people started to wear trousers again and soon were worn all around Rome and were starting to evolve into pants.


Spider Silk Summary

By Romero

Scientists from all around the world are trying to replicate spider silk because the substance is very strong and flexible. Two important ideas of the article are that: Spider silk, when large, is very strong and replicating it will make great advances in technology and safety. Spider silk is a very strong material, and it’s amazing because it’s 98% water! If we can replicate this, we can use them in many different ways such as to produce low-heat types of various fabrics, that don’t need any chemical solvents.

The main idea of this passage is that spider silk is very interesting. One fact or example that supports this main idea is if we could replicate it at a scale, we could change the future of safety. Another fact or example that supports this main point is that it is stronger than steel! In addition, it is 98% water! Finally, the fact that it’s made by only by spiders, a small life form, illustrates that spider silk is amazing!


The Shoe Problem

By Lillian Girarde

The problem began when Clark shoes called the girls shoes “Dolly Babe.” The boys shoes are called ”Leader.” This made parents very mad because this said that boys  were leaders and girls  were  Dolly babe’s,  and that is sexist because this says that boys are a higher power than girls. a bunch of people on Twitter   complained  that “Dolly Babe  shoes are sexist”. After that,  The Clark shoe company tried to say it was a mistake. The Clark shoes  couldn’t   take the complaints anymore. The problem was finally resolved when Clark discontinued “Dolly Babe” shoes.


Ram’s Cloth Summary

The main idea of this article is to create man-made spider silk that is good for the environment.  One way it’s good is you don’t have to pay too much money because it’s cheap.  And, it is made of water, rocks and plants.  And also if you throw it away, it decomposes. A really weird example of weirdness is that scientists at Utah State University are breading “spider goats” that will produce silk proteins in their milk.  The main idea of this article is that spider silk can be used for lots of things.  One example that supports this main idea is that the US Military is thinking about using this man-made silk for their bullet proof vests.   Another example is, this man-made spider silk is safe to use on the human body like in stitches. Finally, the materials needed to make spider silk make it like nylon. The end.


Bad Shoe Names for Girls

By Tamasen

The problem began when the girls shoes were named DOLLY BABES. And the boys were called the Leader. And some of the parents said the girls shoe had a bad  name because to call shoes for all the girl in the school Dolly Babes was sexist and rude.   The company is treating the girls differently than boys people say. The United Kingdom is in Europe and leaders there talked about the shoes. Nicola Sturgeon is the leader of Scotland. She said the  name was hard to believe.  Clarks said it will not sell the Dolly Babe shoes any more. It will keep selling the leader shoes for the boy’s though. So in  my perspective I think that the boys Shoe should not be called leaders! And boys and girls shoes should have the same name, because girls can be leaders and boys can’t always be leaders.


New artificial spider silk: stronger than steel and 98% water.

Based off a newsela article by Emily Matchar.
By Ronan

Spider silk has some pretty incredible properties. It’s stronger than steel, and tougher than kevlar. Yet it’s as  stretchy as an rubber band. For these reasons, spider silk has captured the interest of many scientists for decades.

Researchers have discovered a new material that mimics spider silk. It is extremely strong, stretchy, and has an incredible energy-absorbing capacity. But perhaps it’s  most incredible property: it’s 98% water.

Darshil Shah is one of the researchers working on this new material. He is a researcher at Cambridge’s Center for Natural Material Innovation. “Spiders are interesting models because they are able to produce the fiber at room temperature without a solvent.” says Shah

The fiber is made from a material called a hydrogel. It is 98% water and 2% silica and cellulose. The water evaporates, and the silica and cellulose fibers can be pulled from the hydrogel.

Although not as strong as all real spiderwebs, the fibers are extremely strong. They can be made without chemical solvents, giving them an advantage. They also do not need high temperatures for spinning, making them easier to produce then things like nylon.

The fibers could also be modified in a lot of interesting ways, says Shah. By replacing cellulose with certain polymers, you could more easily make different synthetic fabrics.

Although there are a few problems, artificial spiderwebs could become a real thing in the near future. A real important thing.


That cloth and clothing could hold such import is not lost on the Orange Band. In fact, recently, the Orange Banders took some time to participate in the BWX Museum of Everyday – inspired by the museum of the same name found in Ísafjörður, Iceland. Along with the Magenta Band, Orange Band kiddos selected items of clothing and told the story of that item. Their stories of family, passions, and themselves are wonderful. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for Expression and Cloth Project updates! WEAVE been busy! 😉

Getting to the Source of Cloth: A Day at Slide Ranch

Settled on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Slide Ranch was a breath-taking site to explore the beginnings of cloth.

Exploring the many facets of cloth and its by-products to the Orange Band to one of our prettiest excursions yet: the always wonderful Slide Ranch in Marin. While our destination was new to some and familiar to others, the Orange Band got to participate in a pilot program with a focus on wool and yarn on the ranch, with the steady hand of Amelia leading our investigations.

Amelia, our fabulous naturalist, led the Orange Band through a search for food, clothing, and shelter at Slide Ranch – with an emphasis on clothing, of course!

 

You mean you can LIVE on the ranch and take care of the animals everyday?!?! Lily (aka Lillian Sheep Goat, her nature name) contemplates her future dream job.

 

The sheep at Slide Ranch were a bit skittish, staying at the back of their pen for most of our visit.

 

The Orange Band took this in stride and gave the sheep their space, in hopes of approaching a particularly friendly ewe for an up close look at her wool.

 

Slowly, but surely, kiddos got to get a closer look with Little Girl (actually a grandmother on the farm!).

 

Little Girl’s wool was so soft and dense! Also, multicolored: It was MUCH lighter closer to her skin.

In the beautiful yurt on Slide Ranch’s grounds, the Orange Band explored the different forms that cloth takes when shorn from the sheep that live here.

 

Amelia presented the Orange Band with wool in its various forms at the ranch: unwashed, combed, and spun.

 

Tasked with matching artifacts to the wool-to-yarn process, Orange Banders got to see the bigger picture lain out in front of them.

And then set out to recreate the wool-to-yarn steps: kiddos washed wool,

carded, or combed, the wool,

and hand spun their wool pieces!

Amelia demonstrated how to lengthen the wool before hooking it up to the spindle.

With help from her partner, Tamasen has a beautiful lock of hand-spun yarn!

Kiddos even had an opportunity to test out some natural dyes from fruit and veggies (that turned out to be less successful, though.)

No trip to Slide Ranch would be complete without a little goat milking and garden excursion!!

Dream, the goat, was most patient while Orange Banders took a hand at milking her.

Dreamy Dream

Soleil, Sadie, and Lily each took a turn milking Dream.

Soleil and Lily even tried some fresh goat milk — REALLY fresh!! (It was warm!!)

The other kiddos were content to gather treats for Dream to eat while she was being milked – Dream DEFINITELY expected the treats!

Gathering treats for Dream.

Dream demands more treats!

Even goats reach a treat limit, it seems.

Slide Ranch treats are not just for the livestock; Orange Banders got to wander and sample the MANY delicious offerings in the garden, collecting fragrant herb bundles to be tied up with their hand-spun yarn.

The beautiful lower garden

Fresh chives are truly scrumptious!

Flowers are edible sometimes, and chard leaves make great hats!

It was a truly magical day on the ranch – from sheep to wool to yarn, the Orange Band got the chance to see wool through its rudimentary steps of basic production, and get a little goat and gardens in, to boot!

 

 

Cloth + Stories

The Orange Band began our time together in the Cloth Arc with a wealth of ideas, questions, and commentary. Students are exploring cloth and the impact that cloth has on people – through art, the sharing of culture, and establishing/maintaining/subverting social expectations.

Orange Banders chose George as a shared novel to read and discuss throughout the Expression portion of Cloth

Our shared novel, George, by Alex Gino, provided a perfect platform to tease out the complexities of societal expectations tied to clothes and gender. When people look at George, they see a boy. But George knows she’s a girl. If she is to keep her secret, George will never be able to dress or BE her whole gendered self. The story of a transgender girl navigating upper elementary school, her family, and the world around her, has given the Orange Band another entry into the conversation about clothing and the way that it marks or identifies an individual’s gender for the rest of the world to see — whether we want to tell that story or not. As part of our celebratory kick-off to read George together, students took a blank slate – a plain white t-shirt – and created their own pieces of clothing that tell exactly the story each kiddo desired to share.

Sometimes you have to make the clothes work for YOU!

In addition to critiquing the finished product, marketed and packaged for mass marketing and mind-body control, Orange Banders also looked at the beginnings of cloth. With the help of Indigo buddies, kiddos created small cardboard looms to practice different weave stitches and techniques.

Khalia helps Romero comb down his weaving

Rhone and Sadie work on threading the yearn with a large “needle”

Tamasen and Dash get started on the loom

Soleil works on her strumming teachniques!

Sadie’s first iteration!

Lillian has the yarn in her total control

As a band, we also began to build a large loom in order to experiment with material and product on a grander scale. The shop practice is also a great opportunity to dip into the shop and begin thinking about Expression projects that “loom” just around the corner.

Romero is all concentration on the bandsaw, cutting out a precisely measured triangle support for the bottom of the loom

Many hands on deck for the loom frame

Using corner supports and clamps for stability and integrity

Lily deftly uses the bandsaw tools to cut her piece

With the intent to learn the stories that cloth may carry, Orange Band took a trip to the deYoung Museum to spend time with the gorgeous quilts of Gee’s Bend, a part of the Revelations: Art from the African-American South exhibit. The women of Gee’s Bend—a small, remote, black community in Alabama—have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating from the early twentieth century to the present. On a cool grey morning, we sat under and before quilts that held the stories of their makers and their makers families. It was such a special experience, with the museum nearly to ourselves, just us and the quilts of Gee’s Bend.

The notion of cloth and stories served as such a lovely example for the stories the students are writing for NaNoWriMo. We kicked off National Novel Writing Month with tea, pjs, soft music and pillows. The students’ stories range from dystopian cautionary tales, graphic novels, puzzles hidden in pages and chapters, the zombie apocalypse, to true-life narratives–perfect complements for the complexity and creativity that typify the Orange Band! Students are working on plot and character development, as well as the nuance of an author’s specific voice. Pencils and fingers fly across paper and keyboards everyday and our writing goals are always on the mind!

Character development for Sadie’s graphic novel

Soleil reads aloud to the band for feedback and support

Our Cloth explorations have brought up questions about the impact of cloth – historically and socially – and where we see ourselves in the stories the cloth carries.

Orange Band in the wild! (Can you account ALL of the legs in the shot?)

The many faces and shapes of the Orange Band

 

 

Perspective + Personal Value

Orange Band on the way to the Asian Art Museum for a day of story-telling: Heroes and She-roes

This year we explore at the connections to be found among us – through COIN, CLOTH, and CITY arcs. Using a lens of VALUE as an entry point into coin, the Orange Band set to work on exploring how–and if–we are connected in what we value.

Our Coin Brainstorm revealed each individual’s values clearly

Before we were able to begin to identify our connections, though, we had to learn about each other. What is one person’s story, and how does it connect to me? What do they value? What do I value? Where is there commonality; where is there difference?

What is the value of art for all to share?

Soleil reads up on the project in the Civic Center

 

As the Swampy Cree Indians say, “To say the name is to begin the story.” And so the Orange Band began with our names and the stories they carry.

Soleil shares her name’s meaning (sun!)

Tamasen explains how she decided to create her name visual

Lillian works on her visual representation of her name and name story

To say the name is to begin the story. Our names, and the stories they carry.

We also took time to identify the many circles of our complex, intertwined selves. Orange Banders asked themselves: “What are the aspects of ME that I value?”

Ramses writes about a memory associated with a circle of his identity: lover of chocolate!

Students shared their multifaceted identities and aspects of themselves, wrote about specific memories that highlighted an identity circle, and distilled their work into a single word. Heading into the Shop with Gever, Brendon, and Evan,  Orange and Band will create a staircase of the words the students choose to represent themselves; one word for one student, on each staircase step.

Soleil and Ramses work on making a bed in Shop Orientation 2.0

Ronan and Sadie’s task: Build a chair using only clamps to hold it together

Tamasen and Romero work on a bridge together

Romero tests the finished product

Learning about serifs pre x-carve intro

Programming the x-carve and aligning it takes time

Tamasen is our staircase word guinea pig! First one up!

So it will be that the Orange Band may also be known as: CYPHER, TENACIOUS, KING, SCIENCE, COMEDIAN, OPTIMISTIC, and COOL.

Ramses: Egyptian king, or Orange Bander? BOTH!

Ramses prefers hands to paint brushes

Soleil helps Tamasen paint her staircase word

Tenacious Tamasen!

These stories helped to create a pathway for connection and understanding of the individuals in the band as they came together to identify our individual hopes and dreams, the agreements we would need to make the collective hopes and dreams a reality, and, finally, Band Agreements that we could live, work, and play by for the year.

Testing out our Band Agreements out in the world at SFMOMA

During this time, we also spent time establishing the tone and tenor of our math community. Using the work of Stanford researcher Jo Boaler, Orange Banders learned about the way the brain changes, grows, and creates new pathways as we do math, and as we persevere while doing math. A group of diverse mathematicians, each Orange Bander approached our daily math challenges in a different way, highlighting the breadth and range of how we can do math and what it might look like!

Tamasen represents Pascal’s Triangle in 3D

Ronan finds patterns in what is NOT shaded

While Soleil works on discovering her own patterns

Next week we will continue to look at how perspective influences value, as well as where such a diverse and different group of people such as ourselves might find commonalities on the microscopic level.

Out and About at the Asian Art Museum

Cherry Blossom Walks

Raspberry Hands!

By Sea: Expression, In Full Swing

For the past few weeks, Orange Band students have put their time, energy, and hearts into Expression projects for the Movement of Things By Sea Arc. This, our third and final arc, definitely has a culminating feel to it. Projects truly seem to build off the year’s experiences–not just the Exploration work of this arc, but the previous arc’s project work, as well. And, so, without further ado, please enjoy the By Sea Arc Projects of the Orange Band!

Fur the seals

By Charlotte

My project is a podcast about northern fur seals, I chose it because I like fur seals and it relates to the by sea arc because northern fur seals live in the sea! They travel by sea around a quarter of the world!

Fun fact: They are the second most furriest animal on earth! They have 300,000 hairs per square inch. The males live to be 10 years old then they die, whereas the females live to be 20-27! Females are much smaller compared to males: females get to be 4 feet long and males get to be 6 feet long and longer!

My goal for this project is to teach people about northern fur seals and inspire them to help them rebuild their population. I want to help people understand the importance of just one animal, because it can change other animals that we depend on! We need to help fur seals, and other animals that can depend on animals that are crucial to humans.

P.S. My project will cost… about… maybe $999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999.99 plus tax and other things like that.

P.P.S. Nah… it is worth more than that. Maybe $999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999.99 uhhh that does include tax but it doesn’t include getting a special box for it. And maybe an extra large car… no… truck. And you’ll need two… no… three. Anyway, it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!

P.P.P.S. Oh and you can get it on eBay. It costs more on eBay. But you know, it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!

The argonauts waste a lot of valuable time struggling

By Lucy

The Argo on the set

My project is a stop motion of the Argo’s journey. Phoebe and I are working together to create this film. We chose to make a stop motion about the Argonauts and their journey because we both love Greek mythology and thought it would be fun to make a stop motion. Our project relates to the by sea arc because the Argo was a Greek ship that sailed across the black sea to Colchis to retrieve the golden fleece for Jason’s home town Iolcus. Our project has value because the story of the golden fleece was first told over 2,000 years ago and phoebe and I are retelling it in 2017 and it started in 200 BCE! Our  project is probably going to teach us about the Argonauts and stop motion we will learn to work well together and other stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phoebe and I painting the set

Jeevan By Sea

My project is a hovercraft. I chose this project because I thought it would be a challenge to hover something over water. Water is not flat, hard, still, or smooth. My project relates to the by sea arc because it is a hovercraft that hovers over water. Water is a different surface than land. In water everything has to be even so it doesn’t tip over. You cannot make a land hover craft and put it over water. It would tip over. My project will teach me a lot about balancing airflow and air pressure. Instead of making something that goes in water, and is affected by water I am making something that goes over water, and  is still affected by water. I made a land hovercraft and I put it over  water and it tipped over. I tried it multiple times but nothing changed. At the beginning of the arc we went on boats. All the boats we went on had to displace their own weight in water. I wanted to make something that could go on water without displacing their own weight in water. That’s how I decided to make a hovercraft.

Project Defense

By Amiya

Me practicing filming with a green-screen

For my project, I am making a shipwreck documentary  featuring the Andrea Doria and the Titanic. I am aiming to make the video at least 15 minutes long. I chose this project because I am fascinated with accidental and mysterious shipwrecks, and I would like to know more. I also have never made a documentary before, so it will teach me some new skills about filming and editing video. Originally, It was going to be drawing animations with the Titanic, Lusitania, and Andrea Doria, but I did not get enough project time in the first two weeks. Now, even with more project time, I will have to do a few drawings, but only for the wrecks and Lego stop motion for the sinkings. 

Me drawing the wreck of the Titanic

Though part of the reason I chose this project was because I really like drawing, I am still excited about the project. The two shipwrecks that I am doing are my favorites because not only are they very famous, but there is a lot of mystery surrounding their sinkings. Even today, scientists can only guess about exactly how the Titanic sank since no one took any pictures or video of it sinking. The Andrea Doria was filmed sinking, but still there are some things that scientists do not know. This project is worthy of my time as it is something that I am very passionate about, and when I have a choice, I choose to work on my documentary. As I mentioned before, I have never made a documentary, so this is a chance to learn new skills such as editing film. This project is related to by sea because it is about ships that sank, which used to move by-sea, and are now part of the ocean.

Me meeting with my expert

THE ARGONAUTS SHALL NOT DIE… WELL MOST OF THEM ANYWAY

By Phoebe

I love the idea of supernatural beings controlling nature. The ancient Greeks made myths up so they could explain natural phenomenon that they could not explain.  My project is a stop motion about the Argo and its journey. Lucy is working on it with me.  I chose it because I like Greek mythology it’s also  one of my favorites myth and it’s by sea.  I will learn what I can in a few weeks deadline. We are not making the full film because it would be too much work in few days.

    

My Cardboard Boat

By Roman

My project is building a cardboard boat. I chose this project because I wanted to have a boat, a fun time, and a cool project. This project relates to the By Sea Arc because I get to go out on the water and feel proud about accomplishing building a boat in a short amount of time. Also I will tell my family that I built a boat and make them proud. The value of this project is building a boat that doesn’t sink and getting more into boat building. I will test the boat in a pool or a river. Another value is that I can build a boat in a survival situation and I could save my life from that. I think this project is important because I will have project that connects to this arc.

Roman carefully cuts paddles out of plywood on the band saw

Band saw practice breaks up the cardboard construction

 

My Arc Project

By Justin

I am making a boat out of coroplast and wood for my project. The sides are made out of coroplast and the bottom is made out of wood. It is 8 feet long and 2 feet 6 in wide. It was supposed to have a motor originally but it is not going to. I am going to take it to Jenner to test it. I think that building a boat is a good by sea project because we use boats for crossing water. It is a good project because I will learn about building and waterproofing structures and I will get a boat.

Boat Launch at Stow Lake!

It was a bright and breezy April afternoon – auspicious weather conditions for the launch of the Orange Band’s own cardboard boats!

Lucy awaits the launch of her team’s boat: the BWX Unknown!

There is a romance and kind of magic, it feels, inherent in our explorations By Sea. Even when collaborators brainstormed the many interactions with the sea and the things it moves before the arc began, I don’t think that any of us anticipated the just how captivating it would be to go out on the water. Thanks to our proximity to the ocean, bay, and lakes, we have been able to experience being on the water no less than FIVE times – in such a myriad of ways! From rowboats in the bay (and just beyond), to massive ferries, four mast turn of the century shipping boats, and sail boats, the Orange Band’s logical progression has been to build and launch their own boats. Naturally!

When given free range to build a boat, which design would YOU choose?

This boat building project – so close to the start of the year’s last expression portion (Coincidence? Perhaps not!) was much more than *just* another build. The road (waterway?) to the successful paddles was marked with challenges and opportunities to stretch the kiddos, individually and as a group!

The challenge began as an individual boat prototype build on a small scale. Throughout the year, kiddos have been honing this skill – and the Orange Band tackled this task with comfort and ease, each student creating their own model, a testament to their practice and capability with their tools: cardboard, rulers, and boxcutters. Essential to the work was their familiarity with the crafts they have been on throughout the arc; the days spent on the water allowed for so much time interacting with and analyzing boat design and structure. As such, there was a good amount of variety found among the prototypes.

Next, students voted on the designs they felt would be the most successful. Using this criteria helps to get the kiddos in the project mindset – and feel confident about getting into the boats, themselves!

With the boat designs narrowed down to two choices, the Orange Band began construction in teams on Monday. We had a scheduled boat launch set for Thursday afternoon- and an impromptu field trip on the Bay popped up on Tuesday.

The Orange, Teal, Blue, and Violet Bands joined the Call of the Sea out of Sausalito for a day on the water.

The clock was ticking for the teams, underscored by the ongoing fear of actually getting into the boats. Sailors were hard to come by as worries of getting dunked in the lake or eaten alive by snapping turtles flew around the shop.

Phoebe works with the straightedge for greater precision.

This three day work was when, in truth, the *real* work began. That is, tackling a build that was going to be put to the test in the world, under real time constraints, in a group project setting! Students were challenged to hone their communication skills, practice delegating tasks, and being flexible on the fly – all tall orders, to be sure. Each day of construction ended with more than a few worries about whether the boats would be ready in time – or ready to float!

Amiya contemplates his next construction move on his team’s design: a craft with a double outrigger style pontoon

Aaliyah helps Lucy and Charlotte secure the fourth layer of plastic to their craft.

But this is Brightworks! Come Thursday morning, both crafts were duct taped and wrapped in plastic – ready for the waters of Stow Lake. Not surprising, with the excitement of the actual launch at our fingertips, sailors suddenly came from left and right, clamoring to hop in! Anticipation was high when our first sailor stepped a shaky foot into her team’s boat. Families, puppies, and the meandering park goer alike cheered as the craft pushed off to great success!

Our first sailor still has the jitters before her voyage.

Post trip, Phoebe is ALL smiles!

And what a success! Both boats went out for multiple voyages on the lake, steering around the intrigued paddle boats and navigating the flow of the lake, and the occasional wind gust.

With two boats on the water, BWX Boat Launch was a resounding success!

Amiya navigated the current and flora of the lake with determination.

This craft was sound enough to take on two: “It looks as though they’re on a Sunday stroll.”

We left the lake that afternoon back to Brightworks with full hearts, high on the triumph of the students’ hard work. It was a magical afternoon – just the kind of day that will resonate in the kiddos’ minds as they gear up for their next, and last, project experiences of this year.