Photo Gallery

Step 1: Speak Up!

GCE Lab School students in partnership with the Newberry Library organized and hosted this year’s Youth Soapbox Debates as a part of Newberry’s Annual Bughouse Square Debates. This is our second year participating as organizers of the Youth Soapbox Debates to provide a platform for young people to speak honestly and provocatively about the political, social, and cultural issues that plague their world. We are proud to help provide this platform for young people in a historically significant place amongst activists of all ages and backgrounds.

Rising GCE Junior, Gimena and GCE Class of 2018 alumna, Shay worked hard all summer recruiting speakers and planning the event. The youth speakers proved that there is power in their voice. Their stories also reminded us that speaking up and speaking out is only the first step to creating a better tomorrow. We are hopeful that under the leadership of these young people, we are on our way to a brighter and safer future.

We’re looking forward to next year!

Photo Gallery

We are Master Learners

We embrace the last day of every Spring Term not only as a celebration of the graduating class but also as a celebration of all of our accomplishments as a community. This Spring, students were given the opportunity to present on any experiences whether academic, artistic, political, athletic, or personal that inspires them to be curious explorers of the world. The varied presentations demonstrated that learning can take place anywhere at any time as long as the learner seizes the opportunities. We were proud to see GCE students showcase their growth as master learners.

Photo Gallery

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!!! Our 2019 graduates are a group of opinionated, curious, strong-willed young people who are ready to take on the world’s greatest challenges. We are so proud of our graduates’ accomplishments and we can’t wait to see how they impact the world. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating and filling the auditorium with so much love and support.

The Sun Rises in the Yeast

Students in the Food class have been exploring leavening agents and the role they play in our favorite baked goods. They experimented with biological agents and quickly learned to respect the sensitive nature of yeasts and sourdough starters; they are living and require care, lots and lots of care. Most recently, they experimented with swapping out different leavening agents in a biscuit recipe; using buttermilk instead of eggs or using baking powder instead of baking soda. The results were varied but delicious!

Field Experience

Creating Drama at The Goodman Theater

In the Sophomore Humanities course, Drama, the students have been investigating the guiding question, How does drama stage and heal our roles in society?. Specifically, they have been studying how William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, and Lorraine Hansberry used drama as a way to respond to the expectations and treatment of women in their society. In the second unit of this course, students read Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and investigated the role of the “doll” in 19th century Norway. The students were challenged to respond to the play’s main characters, Nora and Torvald in the form of a screenplay. As a part of the creation of their screenplays, the students visited the educators at the Goodman Theater to get feedback on their work and to learn more about how to write effective dialogue and stage directions.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to get feedback on the screenplays they’ve been working on and to gain an understanding of how to effectively communicate using dialogue and stage directions.

How?

Students will participate in a series of exercises that will teach them how to give and receive feedback productively in order to refine their screenplays.

It’s Formally Spring

We stepped into an Enchanted Forest and danced the night away! Members of our Student Council alongside our Director of Admissions, Laura transformed the Ravenswood Loft into an Enchanted Forest filled with pizza, candy, and music that went all night (well, until 9:00). The students looked stunning in their finest formal wear and danced the night away. We had an absolute blast at our first-ever Spring Formal and we simply could not have done it without the support of our community; huge shout-out to Student Council, Laura, and GCE parents, Betty and Karen!

Field Experience

Going Beyond Our Limits 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.

Truss Fall!

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!

Field Experience

Farm to Table at Big Delicious Planet

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.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to learn about the concepts of farm to table, urban agriculture, and responsible production and consumerism.

How?

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.

Field Experience

Eat Your Neighborhood with Odd Produce

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.

Field Experience

From Farm to Cup at Metropolis Coffee Company

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.

TEDxGCE

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.

Bring It On!

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.

Running an Errand

Sophomore, Tymony examined the art of the short film as her independent study. She completed the course, Ollywood during Elective term in which she learned to look at films with a more discerning and critical eye. Inspired by that course and her own passions for story-telling, acting, and directing, Tymony set out to write and produce an original short film. Her film, Errand takes a surrealist look at two teenagers’ unlikely meeting in the aisles of a grocery store.

The Point is Not The Point…

The point is the poetry!!! This is our 7th year participating in the Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB) youth poetry slam festival and our poets were honored to have performed on the stage at the Metro Chicago at Semifinals. LTAB is the largest and longest-running youth poetry slam in the world and it all started in Chicago through Young Chicago Authors. The festival brings together thousands of youth from the Chicagoland area and invites them to share their unique stories through verse. We are so grateful for the platform that LTAB provides students to not only share their stories but to connect with other young poets. We are so proud of the work our LTAB team put in this year to advance all the way to Semifinals. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Field Experience

The Truth Behind MPG at Tesla

In the second unit of the Fuel class, the Freshmen have been pursuing the question, How does matter become energy?. In pursuit of an answer, students have been studying the equations for work and power, the differences between kinetic and potential energy, and how to set up mathematical functions using word problems. Students visited the Tesla showroom to learn about the mechanics of the most efficient battery-powered vehicle on the market. We talked to the resident expert, Dave who educated us about what miles per gallon really means, and how battery-powered cars blow fossil-fueled cars out of the water in terms of efficiency. Tesla recently released a more affordable model giving more people the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to see the real-world relationship between energy and transportation, as well as what is possible for energy-efficient vehicles in the future.

How?

At the end of this Field Experience, students will understand Tesla vehicles’ relationship to energy. They will have had engaged in conversation with an expert to understand where energy comes from, how it is transmitted, and how efficient Tesla cars are.

The Milk Box

The Milk Box is an art zine produced and published by a group of GCE Juniors. The first issue of the zine highlights the works of three young photographers. The producers of the zine aim to provide a platform for their peers to share their stories through art.

We’ve Got Moves

Our amazing Parents Association (Parents Unite GCE) and members of the student council organized another successful school dance. We are so grateful to have opportunities like these to connect with our community outside of the school day. This Winter dance was partly in celebration of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, but mostly in celebration of putting on our coolest PJs and dancing the night away!

Field Experience

Looking Through a Pinhole

The Juniors in Light, Sound, and Time have been focusing on light and investigating the guiding question: What would life look like without light? . In order to illuminate answers to this huge guiding question, students are examining how light could be captured and manipulated. As a part of this investigation, they built and experimented with pinhole cameras to better understand the role of light and time in creating photographic images. The class visited the darkroom at the Latin School of Chicago and met with photography teacher, Betty Lark Ross to learn more about the power of light.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to see the concepts of light waves and how we perceive them come to life.

How?

Students will experiment light using their hand-built pinhole cameras.

Thank you Crossing Borders Music

We’re so honored to have hosted the out-of-this-world musicians from Crossing Borders Music as a part of our GCE Tiny Concert Music Series. The mission of Crossing Borders Music is to use music to promote the dignity of people from all cultures. The musicians transported us to Peru through soulful vocals and mesmerizing strings.

If you’re interested in playing a small intimate show, email [email protected]