Field Experience

Endurance Bootcamp with Sensei Lavin

The Seniors in the Endurance class have been pursuing the guiding question, how much are you willing to endure to change the world?. In the first unit of this Humanities course, students are investigating endurance as demonstrated by well-known visionaries. Through this investigation, students will find inspiration to set goals and identify a mission for their own path. Furthermore, the students are asked to assess qualities that they possess that may help them achieve their mission. As a part of this self-assessment, the students must endure both physical and mental challenges. For this Field Experience, the Seniors were visited by Sensei Lavin who put their mental and physical endurance to the test.

 

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is for students to undergo “boot camp” that tested their endurance.

How?

Under the guidance of Sensei Lavin, the students participated in a series of exercises that pushed them to overcome mental blocks in order to defeat physical ones.

Field Experience

Investigating Organics at Uncommon Ground

Hello, I’m a Freshman at GCE Lab School. Recently, our class traveled to Uncommon Ground at their Devon St. location to see the first certified organic brewery in Illinois, and the first certified organic rooftop farm in the U.S.! Visiting Uncommon Ground was a unique and enlightening adventure; I personally had never seen an actual rooftop garden, let alone one that is certified organic! I now know a lot more about the regulations of being a company who is certified organic, and how difficult it is to maintain and sustain an organic organization.

We, the Freshmen, in the Food For Thought class have been examining the question of whether GMOs are truly beneficial to humans and the environment, and what ‘organic’ means and why it is in higher demand. In our second External Investigation of our Humanities course, we are investigating the industrialization of food and the sustainability of our current ideals for food. As a part of our investigation, we have been watching the documentaries Food Inc and reading In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollan. We took to Uncommon Ground to see what organic means and how Uncommon Ground could sustain itself in this harsh economy full of industrial and cheap food. We spoke to Brandon Kik, a farmer at Uncommon Ground, who gave us a tour of the rooftop and spoke to us about how and why they became the first organic rooftop farm in the U.S.

Why?

The purpose of the Field Experience was for us to see what an organic farm and company look like, to see if being an organic company is sustainable, and to learn about why companies put so much effort into becoming organic and how they do so.

How?

We took a tour of the Uncommon Ground rooftop farm and spoke to one of the farmers to get more insight on the whys and hows of becoming a certified organic farm, restaurant, and brewery.

— Reflection & photography by Gimena, Class of 2021

Field Experience

Urban Farming at Patchwork Farms

The Freshmen in the Food class have been pursuing the guiding question, what does a balanced ecosystem look like?. In the first External investigation of this STEAM course, students are investigating the types of organisms and the interactions between those organisms that are necessary in order to sustain a healthy ecosystem. As a part of this investigation, students are studying the importance of companion plants especially when sustaining a farm in a limited amount of space. To gain more insight into how farmers make the most of their space, the students visited Chicago Patchwork Farms, an urban farm in Humboldt Park. At the farm, the students learned more about the make-up of soil, worked with their hands, and even met a couple of cute farm dogs.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is for the students to see an urban farm and to learn about what it takes to sustain one.

How?

The students will tour the space, ask questions, and do some actual work to learn firsthand about farming.

Photo Gallery

Truss In It!

During the first Unit of the Urban Planning course, Juniors investigated the elements necessary to build a strong bridge. The engineers studied examples of bridges in order to understand the concepts of weight and force, tension and compression, and trusses. Equipped with their newfound knowledge, lots of glue, and 60 popsicle sticks, they set out to build a strong, functioning bridge. After days of hard work, the bridges were put to the test with a set of weights. We were blown away by the results.

Field Experience

Urban Foraging with Odd Produce

Freshmen in the Food For Thought class have been investigating the guiding question, How are food systems shaped and how do they shape the world?. As a part of this investigation, the students have been studying the Agricultural Revolution which led the class to the question, What would it be like to return to humanity’s roots as foragers?. The students went on a foraging walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding GCE with Dave Gold from Odd Produce. The experience showed the students that there is food all around us, we just have to know what to look for.

Photo Gallery

We Say Enough!

291 schools across the country have suffered horrific gun violence since 2012, the year of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. 7,000 kids have been gunned down. More than 187,000 students have been traumatized. Enough is enough.

In March, GCE students held a Soapbox Speakout in Washington Square Park, aka Bughouse Square, ground zero to Chicago’s radical free-speech movement. Students returned to tie 7,000 pieces of orange fabric on the fence, representing all the kids who have lost their lives to gun violence since Newtown. As a part this project, the students stenciled bullets and wrote the names of the 291 schools affected by gun violence. The art installation spans the block-long sidewalk in front of Washington Square Park. Best of all, the students inspired community members to participate.

This is proof that this generation’s voice will impact change.

Field Experience

From Bean to Cup @ Metropolis Coffee Company

Freshmen in the Food For Thought class went to Metropolis Coffee Company’s roastery to learn about the life of the Coffee plant. Students were welcomed into the state-of-the art roastery where they got a behind-the-scenes look at each step of the process. Metropolis is dedicated to serving a stellar cup of coffee, but what’s even more important to them is respect. Respect is at the core of the company’s philosophy; from farmers to consumers. It was an eye-opening lesson on the impact of coffee and the effort it takes to be a responsible part of the production chain.