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 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 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.

Field Experience

The Walls As Canvas

This Spring term, the students in Art are planning and installing an orginal mural inside the school. Before the muralists begin work on the walls, they must understand why and how murals are created. As a part of this investigation, students vistied muralist, Jeff Zimmermann at his studio in Humboldt Park. Jeff talked about the use of sybolism in his work, and the importance of the images representing the neighborhoods they occupy. His advice to our muralists: “create a plan and stick to it”. Jeff’s work is iconic in Chicago and it was such an honor to learn from him.

Field Experience

The Power of Silence

The Seniors in the Equality class are investigating the guiding question, “How do we investigate in/equality?”. This guiding question will be pursued through two units: History and Herstory. In pursuit of the unit one guiding question, “What is the history of the fight for Equality?”, the students observed and participated in a slient vigil held in honor of victims of human trafficking. On this Field Experience, the students engaged in conversation with activists to learn about the power of protest and the dangers of systemic inequalities perpetrated on the basis of gender and class.

Field Experience

Examining Our Truth @ Poetry Foundation

Students in the Poetic Justice course visited the Poetry Foundation to investigate the guiding question, “What story is yours to tell?”. In the first unit of this Humanities Elective course, students have been studying, analyzing, and critiquing political poetry from a range of poets discussing local and global issues. In addition to looking at the poets’ political message, the students have also been examining their utilization of poetic devices to help get their message across.

With a draft of their own political poem in hand, they headed to the Poetry Foundation where Amy Lipman led them through an exercise that challenged them to re-examine their own writing. Amy led the students in an examination of documentary poetry and poetry of witness and they were posed with the question, “Is the story you are telling, yours to tell?”. The students dissected different styles of writing and took some time to re-read and revise their own poems.

Field Experience

Machines vs Humans @ mHUB

Students in the Rapid Prototyping course visited mHUB to investigate the vast possibilities of rapid prototyping. mHUB is Chicago’s innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. The students have been investigating the guiding question, What can machines do that hands can’t?. In the first unit of this course, students have been investigating the line, and concepts such as, networks, slopes, intercepts, and angles as the foundation for all things that are built. At mHUB, our host, Bria showed us around the impressive facility and explained the uses of different spaces, tools, and machines. During our tour, we met engineers who talked in-depth about different types of machines, we met designers working on prototypes for products getting ready to launch, and we met artists creating their masterpieces. It was an eye-opening experience to see the possibilities and essentially, the necessity of rapid prototyping in the 21st century.

Field Experience

Art as a Weapon @ Gage Gallery

Students in the Poetic Justice course visited Gage Gallery to view the Nowhere People: The Children exhibit. The students drew inspiration from the photographs in the exhibit to write an ekphrastic poem and a persona poem. In this Humanities Elective course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, How may poetry be a tool for political reform?. In their pursuit of an answer, they have been studying, analyzing, and critiquing political poetry from a range of poets discussing local and global issues.  As a part of their investigation, they examined the photographs of Greg Constantine and investigated how photography as an art-form can tell the stories of those unspoken for.

Field Experience

Design with Empathy @ Working Bikes

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class talked to bike expert, Andrew at Working Bikes in Pilsen to learn about the mechanics of bikes and the purposes that different types of bikes serve. In the second unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, how are bikes designed and engineered to solve specific problems?. In their pursuit of an answer, students have been studying the concepts of weight, speed, acceleration, velocity, and mass and their effects on simple machines such as the wheel, the axle, and the pulley. To gain a better understanding, the students visited Working Bikes where they prepped bikes to be transported. Working Bikes gives new life to discarded bicycles and distributes them as tools of empowerment to local and global communities.

On the day the students visited, a shipping crate was waiting to be filled and shipped to the Kingdom of Lesotho in Africa. Andrew, the volunteer coordinator at Working Bikes showed the group how to prep the bikes and they got right to work. The experience was informative and extermely humbling.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, how do bicycles impact lives?. The students talked to experts to investigate the evolution of bikes and how they are put together so that they can then design a bike that suits a person’s specific needs.

How?

The students talked to bike shop employees about the parts that make up a bike, their purpose, and the choices designers make when choosing to use certain parts over others.

Field Experience

The Power of Design @ Beyond Design

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class met with Michael Prince, the president of Beyond Design. In this STEAM course, students are investigating what it means to be a designer. Through this investigation, students have learned that being a designer is far more than conceptualizing and designing a new product. Being a designer requires empathy, compassion, patience, expertise, and a whole lot more. This was confirmed by our visit with Mr. Prince. He shared stories about the trials and tribulations of starting his own design firm. He stressed the importance of empathizing with his clients, working with a diverse team, and embracing the iterative nature of the design process.

It was a unique and eye-opening experience to get a behind-the-scenes look at a successful design firm.

Why?

The purpose of this FE is to introduce the class to professional designers, and to get them to think like designers.

How?

Students talked to designer, Michael Prince and toured Beyond Design to understand the work of a designer.

Field Experience

Assessing Risk @ Capital One Café

Seniors in the Economics class met with a financial consultant at the Capital One Café. In this STEAM course, students are pursuing the guiding question, how do we make choices in a world of limited resources and limited time?. In the first unit of this course, students have been analyzing the value of risks, taking into consideration time, cost, and utility. As a part of this first unit, students have also been calculating and assessing the value of college. The experts at Capital One Café stressed the importance of short- and long-term goal-setting, saving for emergencies, and finding happiness and balance in all of it.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, how do you determine value?.

How?

The students will talk with a financial consultant at Capital One Café to learn more about value, utility, and risk.

Field Experience

Rhetoric of Revolt @ The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial

Juniors in the Rhetoric class met with Alia Bilal from Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial in Marquette Park. Students have been pursuing the guiding question, how do voices work to unite people, divide opinion, and transcend conflict? In the third unit of this Humanities course, students are asked to look at how rhetoric inspires and mobilizes?. The Action Project for Unit 3 asks students to create “an original artwork” that “speak[s] out on issues that receive little attention” and “inspires collective action.” In order to contextualize such a statement and experience it in person, we journeyed to Marquette Park to see the monument there to Dr. Martin Luther King’s protest march in 1966, known as the Living Memorial.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, how does rhetoric inspire and unite?.

How?

The students learned about both the history that led to the Chicago Freedom Movement’s protest march and the movement to preserve the memory of that action with the Living Monument.

Field Experience

Lunch is Served @ Lincoln Park Community Shelter

Freshmen in the SDGs & You class cooked and served lunch to the guests at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter. In this Humanities course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, how can everyone have access to resources that meet basic human needs?. In the first unit, students are investigating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and are using that information to argue for the conversion of one of these needs into a human right. The Lincoln Park Community Shelter serves people who struggle meeting needs throughout Maslow’s spectrum; the students spent one meal attempting to aid them in meeting their physiological needs for shelter and food.

In preparation for this Field Experience, students researched basic human needs for calories and nutrients per day. Using that information, students researched available food options from local grocery stores, created a budget, and shopped within that budget to cook and serve this meal.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, how do we know when basic needs are met?.

How?

The students planned, shopped for, cooked, and served a meal to the guests at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter.

Field Experience

The Physics of Gardening Tools @ Home Depot

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class talked to experts from the gardening department at Home Depot to investigate the physics of gardening tools. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, what lies at the heart of our fundamental drive to create tools?. In their pursuit of an answer, students have been investigating the angles, pressure, force and leverage in a variety of tools that have forever changed our interactions with our surroundings.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, what makes an effective tool?. The students talked to experts to identify the differences between mediocre gardening tools and great gardening tools. Through this field research, students will gain insight into how to design their own quality gardening tool.

How?

The students talked to experts to understand how tools are used, the parts that make up the tools, and which tools are most effective and why.

Field Experience

Carrying Water @ The Chicago River

Freshmen in the Water class visited the Chicago River to collect water. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, why is water so common yet so rare? . In their pursuit of an answer, students have been learning about the abundance of water found in living organisms while also investigating the scarcity of potable water that leaves millions of people without clean water on a daily basis.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, How can you get access to water in case of a shortage or crisis?. The students carried water to connect their water usage to worldwide water shortage.

How?

The students walked to a local public water source, the Chicago River to collect and transport water. At the end of the Field Experience, students measured the amount of water they collected and reflected on their daily water usage.

Field Experience

Circuit Training @ Robot City Workshop

The Juniors in the Urban Planning class have been pursuing the guiding question, how do you design a shared space to minimize the use of resources & maximize the quality of life?. In the second unit of this STEAM course, students are investigating the concept of power and examining how to efficiently power a city. Students are learning about the fundamentals of magnets, static electricity, current electricity, circuits, voltage, amps, and resistance. As a part of their investigation, students visited Robot City Workshop to take a closer look at how to build circuits on a breadboard. Each student was given a breadboard kit and a simple robot.

Field Experience

Urban Farming @ Chicago 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.

Field Experience

Boot Camp @ The Japanese Cultural Center

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 visited the Japanese Cultural Center where Sensei Lavin 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

Farm to Table @ Big Delicious Planet

The Freshmen in the Food class have been pursuing 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

Music as Language @ Electrical Audio

In the Mixtapes elective course, students have been investigating the guiding question, how will you make meaning from music?. In pursuit of an answer, students have been learning about the ways music circulates through communities and across time periods in search of listeners. Students have been learning how to identify key characteristics that make up the songs they love and hate. As a part of their investigation, they visited Electrical Audio, a recording studio owned by famed musician and producer, Steve Albini. It was such a treat to learn from an expert who has done such iconic work in the industry and to see him at work in the studio.

Why?

The purpose of this FE is to think about music as a tool to build community and the long-lasting cultural impact of certain songs, musicians, or types of music.

How?

Our goal is to see how a producer who has worked in the industry for many years view the evolution of “pop music”. Students engaged in conversation with Steve Albini to learn about the process of helping musicians bring their vision to life.

Field Experience

Rethinking Success @ The Chicago Lighthouse

In the M.A.G.I.C. (Mentoring Achievement of Goals and Inspiring Champions) elective course, students have been investigating the question, who are your guiding lights and how do they help you achieve your dreams?. In pursuit of an answer, students have been studying and analyzing the people that inspire and motivate them. They are taking a close look at the paths they took to reach their success. Through this investigation, students will identify how they can find their own path to success.

As a part of their investigation, they visited The Chicago Lighthouse, a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services. Students met and learned from people in the community who have had to overcome a range of obstacles in order to achieve the success that they have. Students were asked to think about success from a different perspective.

Why?

The purpose of this FE is to think about the ideas of success and value, as well as the obstacles people have to overcome. We will be reflecting and discovering how one organization can inspire hope and improve countless lives.

How?

Our goal is to see what kinds of options are out there for people who are blind or visually impaired – from technological advancements to communities and support services, ultimately connecting this back to our own lives and future goals.