Session 4, Week 6 (Online Week 3)

The students concluded their third week of online home learning, and the fourth session! It is hard to believe how quickly the school year is going by. This week the students wrapped up their projects in Writer’s Workshop and Laws of Physics Quest. They also turned their focus to planning the end of session exhibition and figuring out how they would host the exhibition online instead of in the studio.

The final week of Laws of Physics brought an interesting final challenge for the learners. This week their physics skills were put to the test in a toy design project. They could design any toy they wanted to, but the toy had to use one of the topics they’ve learned about in physics this session. Some of the learners built toys that had a lot of elasticity, while others built toys that relied more on buoyancy or gravity to work. To wrap up the quest the students had a discussion about whether one physics principle was more important than the other, or if they all needed to work together for objects to function properly. 

In Writer’s Workshop the students hurried to put final touches on their podcasts. Along with music, they also planned intro and outros as well as recording interviews for their podcasts. Thursday brought technical difficulty to a few students when music tracks and whole podcasts were deleted, just hours before they were going to submit them. In true Acton fashion these students stepped into hero mode and re recorded their podcasts and created new music tracks. It was frustrating no doubt, but the experience helped them understand the importance of moving on, even in possible defeat or failure. 

Art this week included a motivational project where each student made a rainbow and wrote things that they were thankful for on the rainbow. After they finished it, the rainbows were hung in the window. The project was inspired by a girl in Italy who did the same thing in the hopes that the rainbow would remind people that things will get better. While some students drew rainbows with colored pencil and crayons, others opted to paint them with watercolors or acrylics. 

In Civ this week the students read about the Mycenaeans of Greece. The chapter discussed how advanced and civilized they were for their time. They looked down on the barbarians who traveled from village to village decimating everything in sight. The Mycenaeans didn’t think they had to worry about the barbarians because they lacked basic skills such as reading, writing, and cleanliness. They were attacked anyway. At the end of the chapter the students discussed whether or not they thought the Mycenaeans were arrogant people and if their arrogance led to their downfall. Many students said that they didn’t believe that they were arrogant, they had a right to think that way about themselves because they were so advanced and civilized.

The week wrapped up with a badge ceremony and our end of session exhibition! We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy.