Education Will Endure: Our First Student Presentations in the Days of Distance Learning

Shortly after we closed our campus for COVID-19, our learning community came together to design an online version of Final Presentations, where ordinarily, students demonstrate what they’ve learned. It was awesome.

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We’re In This Together

GCE students can’t help but impress during Final Presentations. Students are challenged to share and demonstrate their learning from the term at each Final Presentation. With just a couple of guidelines, they are free to create dynamic experiences that showcase how they connect their learning to their own passions. This term’s presentations varied in format and allowed the guests to experience learning like a GCE student.

We are grateful for our passionate students and all of the people who came out to support the work they do.

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Bike Prototyping

After weeks of learning from different experts in the field, the Juniors were ready to build the prototype of their original bike designs. Each group of students was given a client profile for whom they had to design a bike. To prepare for this assignment, they met with the Director of Volunteers at Working Bikes, the owner of EarthRiders Cycle Shop, the Program Director at the Chicago Department of Transportation, and designers and engineers from the James Dyson Foundation. Equipped with a wealth of knowledge and some hands-on experience, the students sought out to build their prototypes using all scecondhand materials from the WasteShed, an awesome resource for teachers and makers!

Fresh with a pH

The Freshmen in the Water class are studying the water cycle. In the process, students learned that infiltration is an important part of the cycle because as the water passes through layers of soil and sand, it is filtered and purified so it can be consumed. Using that information, students built water filters to address the guiding question, How would you cope in a water crisis?. As a part of this investigation, they studied pH levels and how to determine if the water is potable. After they designed and built their filters, the students attempted to turn non-potable water into potable water.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Students in the Journalism class have been investigating the power of a photograph. Specifically, they have been pursuing the question, “How does photojournalism help you see the world?”. As a part of their investigation, they examined how shutter speed, aperture, and exposure work together to tell a story in a photograph. They practiced manipulating these tools and analyzing each other’s photos in preparation for their Action Project.

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These Hands are Made for Tilling…

The Juniors in the Design and Engineering class are addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 9 by examining the guiding question, How does the design process impact product and experience?. SDG 9 addresses the need for resilient infrastructure, and inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation. The designers and engineers are investigating the importance of empathy in design, specifically that of gardening tools in the first unit of the course. As a part of this investigation, the students are learning about the physics behind simple machines and spending time in the garden working with and without tools in order to redesign a gardening tool.

Get Your Yearbook!

The 2018-2019 GCE Yearbook has just been sent off to the presses and we can’t wait to share it with our community. We made a lot of memories this year and the yearbook is a great way to celebrate each student’s contributions. We are working hard to ensure that every student receives a yearbook at little to no cost this year. We believe that each student has earned a yearbook to share with their families.

Each yearbook costs $20. Please consider making a donation to our Yearbook Fund. Your contribution helps to put a yearbook in every student’s hands.

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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!

Can You Sell a Drum Set?

Rhetoric student, Ayana was challenged to demonstrate her understanding of rhetorical devices in a creative way. She rose to the challenge with a humorous and layered video ad for Ludwig Drums. 

Your purpose in this creative test is to use your knowledge of rhetoric (elements of the situation; appeals; devices) to “re-create” ad copy for your chosen vintage instrument. You are free to use any medium you like: print, audio, video, text, music, animation, etc. Once you have finished your ad, submit it with a paragraph explaining why you made the choices you did regarding the rhetorical situation, appeals, and devices.

Brent Mix, Rhetoric Teacher 

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It’s Lunchtime and The Livin’s Cheesy

As a part of this month’s community lunch theme, Spice It Up, the Sophomores whipped up a macaroni and cheese bar that featured paprika. The preparation of this lunch was a true exercise in empathy for the chefs. In addition to preparing lunch for the community, they also made gluten-free and vegan versions of their meal. This challenge did not deter these ambitious chefs. In fact, they embraced the spice challenge and presented made-from-scratch pumpkin spice cupcakes for dessert.

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Empathy in the Garden

The Juniors in the Design and Engineering class are addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 9 by examining the guiding question, How does design process impact product and experience?. SDG 9 addresses the need for resilient infrastructure, and inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation. The designers and engineers are investigating the importance of empathy in design, specifically that of gardening tools in the first unit of the course. As a part of this investigation, the students are learning about the physics behind simple machines and spending time in the garden working with and without tools in order to redesign a gardening tool.

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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.

Spring Into Community

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to build community. We started off Spring term with a Community Day that focused on teamwork, problem-solving, a bit of athleticism, and a whole lot of laughter. The teams battled it out in karaoke, trivia, Boggle, and an intense 8-round relay race. At the end of the afternoon, one team earned the most points, but we were all winners!

We Call BS!

On March 14th, high school students across the nation walked out in solidarity to protest Congress’ inaction to do more in response to the violence that plagues our schools and neighborhoods. The members of GCE’s Student Council organized a walkout in which they read off the names of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting and reflected on the tragic loss of life.

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Truth Manifestos

The Freshmen in the Who Am I? class are investigating the guiding question, “How will I investigate my Self to know who I am?”. This guiding question will be pursued through two units: Truth & Memory and Doubt & Dream. Students will not only examine their own beliefs and experiences to define who they are, they will also study how philosophers have pursued this question throughout history. In the early stages of this soul-searching investigation, these Freshmen philosophers were tasked with writing their own truth manifestos.

Share Your Discoveries!

For this Elective Term’s Final Presentations, our guests were challenged to investigate two guiding questions, What have you discovered? and How will you share it with the world?. Elective term is truly an opportunity for teachers to teach to their passions and help students discover their voice and their own passion in those subjects. With the two guiding questions in mind, our guests set out on a journey to discover their voice and passion in those subjects with the help of the students as facilitators.

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The Warmth of Community

After intense weeks of classes, Field Experiences, and Action Projects, we were all looking forward to spending time with our families. We kicked off our holiday break with a community potluck and student talent show.  The community came together and put together a bountiful and delicious spread. After our feast, we gathered for the student talent show organized by the members of the Music Makers club. We were graced with singing, piano-playing, skating, and dancing by our students.

We left for the holiday break with full bellies and warm hearts. We’re so grateful to everyone who joined us in celebrating the holidays and our talented students.