8th Grade Independent Projects

The 8th grade provided tremendous presentations of their independent projects last Friday evening. We were happy to have so many in our community present to support these remarkable young people too. Thank you to all those who made it a priority to come! 

Mr. Nottage, our 8th grade teacher, introduced our presenters with some brief remarks that got right to the heart of why our 8th grade students do these projects each year. He reminded us all that our children learned to stand upright in their first year without direct instruction -- it came from within. That is also the idea of these efforts, where the 8th graders reflect and propose a project of their own choosing and embark on a months-long journey that culminates in presentations where we see their inner volition to stand independently before their school community. Poise, humor, flexibility and problem solving are all on display in abundance!

We offer a brief glimpse into the variety of this year's projects:

 Evan was inspired by an outdoor art show he attended last summer. When it came time to choose a project, he reached out to one of the artists he admired, a sculptor working in recycled metal. Learning different welding techniques, he created a ten and a half foot metal arch and planter that will have a permanent home at the school's Lowery Farm.

Evan was inspired by an outdoor art show he attended last summer. When it came time to choose a project, he reached out to one of the artists he admired, a sculptor working in recycled metal. Learning different welding techniques, he created a ten and a half foot metal arch and planter that will have a permanent home at the school's Lowery Farm.

 Macy chose to learn digital photography and editing, shifting her focus from sports photography to nature photography when her mentor changed mid-project. Her photos, shown here on canvas, were beautiful! 

Macy chose to learn digital photography and editing, shifting her focus from sports photography to nature photography when her mentor changed mid-project. Her photos, shown here on canvas, were beautiful! 

 Emily was inspired by a trip to Venice to explore Italian cooking. Working with our own (staff member and parent) Italian chef, she learned to make fresh pasta and ravioli, marinara sauce and cannolis. She put it all together in a feast for friends and family, and even shared cannolis with us on Friday. So tasty!

Emily was inspired by a trip to Venice to explore Italian cooking. Working with our own (staff member and parent) Italian chef, she learned to make fresh pasta and ravioli, marinara sauce and cannolis. She put it all together in a feast for friends and family, and even shared cannolis with us on Friday. So tasty!

 Morgan, with her love of singing and musical theater, chose to learn the basics of guitar, so that she could accompany herself. For her presentation, she learned the ABBA song, "I Have a Dream," and performed it for us. Wonderful playing and singing!

Morgan, with her love of singing and musical theater, chose to learn the basics of guitar, so that she could accompany herself. For her presentation, she learned the ABBA song, "I Have a Dream," and performed it for us. Wonderful playing and singing!

 Ellie was inspired by an 8th grade project from the class of 2015 to create a yearbook for the school. She has been taking and editing photographs around school all year long, and over spring break, began her layout into a book. The yearbook is available to order with proceeds benefitting the 8th grade class trip.

Ellie was inspired by an 8th grade project from the class of 2015 to create a yearbook for the school. She has been taking and editing photographs around school all year long, and over spring break, began her layout into a book. The yearbook is available to order with proceeds benefitting the 8th grade class trip.

 Marisol worked with a community artist to learn the art of graffiti and spray painting. She practiced her new craft on the old buildings at Blakely Harbor, and in her final piece for her presentation, painted on panels and shown here.

Marisol worked with a community artist to learn the art of graffiti and spray painting. She practiced her new craft on the old buildings at Blakely Harbor, and in her final piece for her presentation, painted on panels and shown here.

 Harrison, inspired by a 7th grade Friday elective, worked with a local coach to learn the sport -- the art? -- of parkour. He made a video to demonstrate his skills on a route he devised incorporating the Ordway playground. His athleticism and humor were on display!

Harrison, inspired by a 7th grade Friday elective, worked with a local coach to learn the sport -- the art? -- of parkour. He made a video to demonstrate his skills on a route he devised incorporating the Ordway playground. His athleticism and humor were on display!

 Mikel explored fashion design and honed sewing skills with his project. Working with the owner of Esther's Fabrics, he designed and completed two skirts, as well as a top from a commercial pattern, learning a lot about fabric and drape and construction along the way!

Mikel explored fashion design and honed sewing skills with his project. Working with the owner of Esther's Fabrics, he designed and completed two skirts, as well as a top from a commercial pattern, learning a lot about fabric and drape and construction along the way!

 Isaiah worked to build a stand up paddleboard from the ground up. Made of marine grade plywood and cedar, the paddleboard is a thing of beauty, and will be launched just as soon as it gets its fiberglass coating.

Isaiah worked to build a stand up paddleboard from the ground up. Made of marine grade plywood and cedar, the paddleboard is a thing of beauty, and will be launched just as soon as it gets its fiberglass coating.

 Katja took herself on a creative journey into songwriting. She explored chord progressions, melody and lyric writing along the way. The result was a song which she performed through voice and ukulele at the presentation, and recorded as well. It was a heartfelt and gorgeous piece and performance!

Katja took herself on a creative journey into songwriting. She explored chord progressions, melody and lyric writing along the way. The result was a song which she performed through voice and ukulele at the presentation, and recorded as well. It was a heartfelt and gorgeous piece and performance!