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Field Experience

Studying Ecosystems at Patchwork Farms

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.

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

A Test of Endurance

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.

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.

It’s a Kool Thing • Rock Their Future Spring Fundraiser

This year, our annual Spring Fundraiser will celebrate the music that shaped our world as we rock our support for students ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow. We asked members of our community to reflect on the music that inspired their worldview. Humanities teacher, Brent Mix talks about how grunge and punk rock gave him a sense of community and inspired him to create a better world.

We hope you can join us on May 3rd in your raddest band tee to help us create a better world. 

Buy your tickets here

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.

Field Experience

Experiencing Sound at the Chicago Music Exchange

In the second unit of the course, Light, Sound, and Time, the Juniors have been investigating the guiding question, What does life sound like?. As a part of their investigation, they have been examining how sound travels, how we hear sound, and how we make and control sound. At the end of this unit, the students will use the culmination of their learning to construct their own guitar. In order to do this, they visited the Chicago Music Exchange to gain a better understanding of the anatomy and the acoustics of a guitar.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to gain an understanding of the functions of the different parts that make up an instrument.

How?

Students collected information in order to build their own guitars by speaking with experts at the Chicago Music Exchange.

Field Experience

Defining Dogma at the Muslim Community Center

The Sophomores in Forbidden Books have been investigating the guiding question, How are minds fanaticized?. Specifically, the students have been examining why books have been forbidden for dogmatic reasons through the study of The Bible and The Koran. As a part of their investigation, they visited the Muslim Community Center to learn more about the history and tenets of Islam from their Youth Coordinator, Aminah. Aminah shared insight on her own connection to Islam and the difficulties of teaching Islam to Muslim youth because of its portrayal by the media.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to dispel myths and to build some cultural understanding of Islam.

How?

Students will visit a mosque and speak to the Youth Coordinator of the Muslim Community Center.

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.