News

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.

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]

Sound It Out

In the third and final unit of the Ollywood course, students are investigating the elements of film post-production. As a part of this investigation, they have been examining the role of music and sounds in movies. For this assignment, they assumed the role of a foley artist and were tasked to create and add sounds effects to a classic movie clip with its original audio removed.

Meet the New Head of School

Nick Andros graduated in 2017 and came back to interview Cabell King, our new Head of School.
Get to know Cabell!

https://vimeo.com/286638572

Field Experience

Closing the Loop at The Plant Chicago

In the third unit of the Biomimicry Elective, the students have been investigating the guiding question, What would a fungus do?. In this unit, students have been investigating fungi and their role as decomposers in order to rethink their definition of waste. The students are drawing inspiration from fungi and other decomposers’ ability to recycle nutrients to turn linear systems into circular systems to design their own closed-loop systems. As a part of this investigation, they visited the Plant Chicago whose mission is to make healthier and more efficient cities by developing and sharing the most innovative methods for sustainable food production, energy conservation, and material reuse. The students got a first-hand look at an aquaponics system and the practical applications of closed-loop systems.

Why

The students visited the Plant Chicago to learn about the practical applications of closed-loop systems.

How

The students explored an aquaponic system and attempted to design their own in order to demonstrate their understanding of closed-loop systems.

Field Experience

Want Not, Waste Not at The WasteShed

Students in the Game Changers Elective have been pursuing the guiding question, How do game components come together?. In this unit of this game design course, students have been examining the different physical components that make up a tabletop game. They investigated the fundamental design of boards, cards, and moving pieces in order to design and build a game of their own. As a part of the creation of their game, they visited The WasteShed Creative Reuse Center to find recycled materials to build a prototype of their game. The WasteShed is dedicated to providing Chicago with an organized, affordable, and reliable resource for repurposed art, craft, and school materials.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is for students to buy materials to build a prototype of their original board games while learning to find value in repurposed materials.

How?

Students will work in small groups to find the materials they need.

What is a Film Critic?

Genesis, a Junior is taking the elective course, Ollywood for the second time because she fell in love with film and film critique the first time around. Ollywood teacher, Brent Mix has created an advanced track of the course for Genesis, challenging her to take a deep dive into the works of Akira Kurosawa and to take on the role of assistant teacher. Genesis led a lesson on what it means to be a film critic. Take a look at the opening of her lesson.

Photo Gallery

What the Heckadeck

Students in the Game Changers Elective have been pursuing the guiding question, How can you harness the power of play?. In this course, students have taken on the role of a game player and game designer. They are getting a behind-the-scenes look at tabletop games, investigating how they are played and how they are created. As a part of their investigation, students have been studying strategy, probability, and game mechanics.

On this day, students played spades using a souped-up deck of cards called Heckadeck, a deck of 160 hand-illustrated playing cards designed to add a twist to your favorite card games or for you to design your own game. Creator of Heckadeck and founder of More Lies Publishing, Travis Nichols aims to inspire and enable creativity through games, activity books, stories, and cool stuff to get kids and post-kids busy living to draw, write, build, dance, go outside, and explore.

Field Experience

Location Scouting @ Lower Wacker Drive

Students in the Ollywood Elective have been pursuing the guiding question, What makes a movie a movie?. In this course, students have taken on the role of a film critic and are learning to evaluate films based on 3 stages of production: pre-production, production, and post-production. As a part of their investigation of pre-production, students have been learning about the role and creativity involved in scouting locations for film settings. For this Field Experience, students were given the opportunity to propose a location worthy of the time of a location scout.

There were lots of great pitches for locations, including:

  • Cairo, IL: as the location for a post-apocalyptic film depicting society in ruins;
  • the Merchandise Mart: as the location of an action film with a chase scene on a bridge;
  • the Bahá’í House of Worship: as the location of a medieval romance;
  • Pratt’s Castle (Elgin, IL): as the location of a medieval romance;
  • Oz Park: as the setting of a Disney family film

And there were more! The ultimate winner, though, despite the frequency of its use as a setting — in films such as The Dark Night, Batman Begins, Wanted, and The Blues Brothers — is Lower Wacker Drive. So the students explored the different landscapes of Lower Wacker Drive and captured photos to visualize the story they want to tell.

Why?

The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, what is the role of a location scout?. Students will familiarize themselves with the role of the location scout as one part of the pre-production process in the making of a film. Students will also create a short storyboard demonstrating their understanding of the responsibilities of the scout.

How?

Students will walk around Lower Wacker Drive to collect photographs to create their short storyboard.

Field Experience

Studying Sustainability at Interface

In the first unit of the Biomimicry Elective, the students have been investigating the guiding question, What would a plant do?. In this course, students are studying the concept of biomimicry through Art & Science. They are investigating diverse case studies of biomimicry that rethink art, technology, and society from the perspective of nature in order to rethink and redesign flawed products. As a part of this investigation, the students visited Interface, a global flooring company whose products are not only inspired by nature but whose production positively impacts the planet.

The students spent the morning touring the Interface showroom and talking to Mikhail Davis, their Director of Restorative Enterprise to learn more about how biomimicry is applied. Our biggest takeaway from Mikhail is that nature has already solved all of our problems, our job is to ask her the right questions to find the solutions.

Why

The students visited Interface to learn how nature impacts not only the design of their products but the mission and philosophy of the company.

How

The students will talk to Mikhail Davis, the Director of Restorative Enterprise at Interface.

Thank you Cider Provider, Violet Crime, and Thom Perry!

Truly ecstatic to kick off our GCE Tiny Concert Music Series where we host musicians and bands at our Lincoln Park Campus. Huge thanks to Jed and the guys from Cider Provider, Violet Crime, and Thom Perry – Andersonville folk-artist, street performer and chef, crooning traditional folk tunes accompanied with his own banjo playing. Also, thanks to Jet at Busk & Barrel Records.

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

Field Experience

Exploration Before Innovation

The students in the Innovative School Design workshop have been assigned to think about the design of our new facility. They ventured out to explore a space that could potentially be our new school. As they stepped out of the Roosevelt El station, the students reveled at their proximity to the Metra station, the park, and a handful of their favorite food spots. Upon entering the building, they were greeted by an open loft full of possibilities.

After exploring the interior of the building, the students ventured outside to Grant Park where they got a better sense of their surroundings and a great view of the exterior of the building. They discovered public artworks, a skatepark, and even started to map out their route from home to this new space.

Practicing Democracy

Even though most of our students aren’t able to participate in the midterm elections yet, they did participate in student council elections. After hearing compelling speeches from three presidential candidates, the students embraced the power of their vote, and we’re proud to announce Citlalli as student council president. As president, Citlalli promises to speak up for and act on behalf of her constituents.