During the first Unit of the Urban Planning course, Juniors investigate 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. This year’s Juniors set the record with the strongest bridge holding over 105 pounds!
The Freshman in the Food class has been pursuing an answer to the guiding question, What is the ecology of planting?. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students are exploring what soil is made of and how seasons affect our food through the web of life. Students have assumed the role of farmers and are collecting data to design a plentiful garden. As a part of this investigation, the students visited Big Delicious Planet, a Green Restaurant Certified catering company to learn about sustainability and urban agriculture. Upon entering their canteen, the students were overwhelmed by the delicious smells but they would be much more impressed by the farm and kitchen.
The purpose of this Field Experience is to learn about the concepts of farm to table, urban agriculture, and responsible production and consumerism.
The students received a tour of the space, from the canteen to the farm and got a glimpse into the work that goes into sustaining a Green Restaurant certification.
The Freshmen taking Food have been pursuing the guiding question, What does a balanced ecosystem look like?. In the first unit 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 chickens.
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.
The students will tour the space, ask questions, and do some actual work to learn firsthand about farming.
Seniors in Endurance are investigating the journeys of endurance of historical fictional and non-fictional heroes. They are tasked with answering the guiding question, How do you endure mental and physical challenges? by actually facing enduring tests. As a part of this investigation, the students embarked on a transformative journey within themselves with the help of Preston Klik, who demonstrated instruments used for sound meditation and led the meditation for the group.
The Freshman 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 an Eat The Neighborhood tour to seek out edible plants in Lincoln Park with Dave Odd from Odd Produce. The experience showed the students that there is food all around us, we just have to know what to look for.
Freshman 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 effort it takes to be a responsible part of the production chain.
This term, we modeled final presentations after Ted Talks to give students a different way to demonstrate their learning. Each presenter was given five minutes in the spotlight to deliver a lecture or facilitate a discussion. We were fortunate enough to practice effective communication and presentation skills from the educators at the Goodman Theater before the day of presentations. Armed with these new skills and the knowledge from their classes, the presenters wowed us with their creativity and eloquence.
Our Winter Term Community Day put all of the students’ different skills and talents to work. The morning started off with some brainteasing riddles and a relay race that tested their brains and brawn. After lunch, it was a team-on-team showdown of Gaga Ball, Bowling Pin Dodgeball, and Foosball. After a good sweat, the teams slowed it down and wrote poems about what they are grateful for at GCE. We ended the day with a talent show organized by members of the Music Makers club. This joyful and laughter-filled day was a great way to close out Winter Term.