In January after Winter Break, our Middle School participated in Intersession 2019. What is Intersession? Each school year, The Willows takes approximately one week out of the year for an immersive week where both teachers and students engage in complex, engaging projects designed around one theme to build a wide variety of skills. The 2019 Intersession theme was "Story."
Here is a sampling of the classes with the skills that each project built:
In this course, you will have the chance to examine and execute the elements of telling a compelling story through animation. Make a flipbook! Learn the art of Flash animation! How about stop motion?! Or dry erase time lapse?! Yes, please! It will be an animation sensation!
Knowledge and understanding of careers in the animation industry ( guest speaker)
Understanding and identifying story elements (character, setting, plot, tone, conflict, theme)
Storyboarding (planning and outlining a short animation)
Drawing, inking and coloring
Using iStopmotion software to capture hand drawn animation frames
Using Logic and GarageBand software for sound design
Synthesis of imagery and storytelling
Persistence in development of an idea
Biomimicry and Battle-bots: A Story of Survival
Product Designers create everything from chairs to cell phones to forks. They look to nature to get inspiration and we call this biomimicry. Velcro is an example that was inspired by a plant. In this course, you will derive inspiration from something in nature to create a SUMO-BOT!! You will learn how to use a 3D modeling program to create a model that can be produced by a laser cutter. You will add motors and servos and then program a wireless controller. Then it will be RUMBLE time!! How will you demonstrate your nature-inspired ability to defend and fight?
Design principles: modeling, prototyping, critiquing
Collaborating with teammates to come to consensus and create a 3D-modeled robot
Researching offensive and defensive capabilities of animals as inspiration for their robots
Persevering through frustration with electronics, construction, software snafus, and using critical thinking
Tech skills: Glowforge Laser Cutter, Adobe Illustrator, Microcontrollers, Bluetooth, App Development
Build A World That Tells A Story
In this course, students will be brainstorming an original story with a made up land and characters and that they will build out of Maker Materials (foam board, cardboard, wood, 3-D Printers, etc). They will then film their story in action with voiceovers once the land and characters are built.
Math: measurement, scale calculations (1 in = 12.5 feet), blueprinting
Collaboration: teamwork, sharing ideas, compromise, communication within small group and entire class
Art: design, sculpting, painting, paper mache, woodworking, baking clay
Technology: 3D printing, scale printing, power tool use
Language Arts: creative writing
Safety: masks while carving, exacto knives and cutting boards, goggles for woodworking, hot glue gun, scroll saw