small steps

Today the Coyotes explored the neighborhood and the school for the recycle numbers at the bottoms of plastic bags and tops of coffee lids.

DSCN0873

DSCN0890

DSCN0894

They helped Lola deliver flyers to local businesses as she promotes the electronics drive she’s hosting to help protect gorilla habitats.

DSCN0879

DSCN0897

DSCN0888

going and going

Yesterday, Max and his film crew traversed the neighborhood and filmed his movie!

IMG_4529

IMG_4537

IMG_4556

IMG_4561

Ben and Noah met with garbage expert David to explore the contents of the trash, recycle, and compost bins at Brightworks.

DSCN0830

DSCN0837

DSCN0832

DSCN0854

The go-cart team drilled the chassis frame for the motor mount.

IMAG0627

They went out into the world looking for examples of steering linkages, then drew a diagram for how theirs should look on their cart.

IMAG0629

IMAG0621

Glitter? Glitter!

photo(41)

movie making

The Rubber Band was particularly excited today because of Max’s video shoot! He’s making a video for his project about unfair stereotypes, using actors from school and his home to bring his story to life. The Rubber Band-ers were on a dedicated mission together today and worked as one to help one of their number get his video done.

Hair, makeup, and costumes? Check.

IMG_4484

IMG_4491

IMG_4509

IMG_4498

Script run-through? Check.

IMG_4502

Location set-up? Check.

IMG_4518

IMG_4519

image_2

The director!

image_1

Lights!

image_4

Action!

image_5

Meanwhile…

The go-cart boys got their frame together and took a test ride,

IMAG0579

IMAG0583

Lola’s flyer-making research took to the streets for real world examples of quick advertising,

DSCN0802

DSCN0809

and Ben and Noah’s waste station was a group effort!

DSCN0789

DSCN0793

back to work!

Back from break and back to projects! The kids are learning that planning can only get you so far – actually doing the project is extremely challenging. There are books being donated, plays being written, and e-waste being collected, compost being weighed. Tests are being conducted and movies are being filmed.

IMG_4444

IMG_4455

IMG_4464

IMG_4472

Experts continue to be sought for advice and information, and places visited for supplies – like a visit to First Amendment Gallery, a local street artist haunt.

photo(40)

And outside our front door plum blossoms bloom and make the school pretty in pink.

IMG_4479

projects and valentines

Although it was Valentine’s Day today…

DSCN1750

work still got done…

DSCN1752

project progress was still made…

DSCN1760

goals were set for the week off next week…

DSCN1768

and at the end of the day, lots of sugar was consumed.

DSCN1797

re-imagining

The best projects challenge us in ways that force us to inventory everything we know and everything we know how to do to find a solution. Every idea that comes up is heralded, championed as “the way!”, clung to desperately as it fails to hold up to scrutiny, and then quickly abandoned or re-imagined – the healthy cycle of innovation.

IMAG0406

As I worked with various projects today, I was pleased to hear the mixture of agonized torment and celebratory invention. It is good to have hard problems to chew on, good to wake up in the middle of the night with a new insight. This is why we do it.

projects

Expression is in full swing, and there is a fervor about these self-declared projects that I haven’t really seen yet at Brightworks. Projects about trash and waste, street art, social justice in education and film and workers’ rights, plays about important events in social justice, research projects about fairness and justice in history. The kids – and the collaborators – are getting the hang of what it takes to bring a project from start to finish: setting up goals for every day, looking at the scope of the work in terms of how long the Expression phase lasts, finding experts that give great advice, and how to get through the inevitable snags that crop up, whether from lack of information or a stall in interest. How do you stay on task? How do you motivate yourself without getting overwhelmed by the project you set out for yourself? And how do you prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed in the first place?

IMG_4364

DSCN0770

IMG_4376

photo(39)

IMG_4369

IMG_4366

DSCN1743

DSCN1741