Our 1st Year, Session 4, Week 1

Electricity!

On this quest, Eagles are placed in the role of scientists in Edison’s Menlo Park lab!

As innovators, they conduct experiments, and write patents. The studio itself is transformed into a science lab, and the Eagle innovators wear a lab coat uniform. 

Eagles are presented each week with new and often open challenges that take them through the process of self-education and research, experimentation, and documentation. 

The goals of this quest include:

  • Discovering the joy of experimentation
  • Developing a tolerance for ambiguity and problem-solving skills 
  • Understanding the difference between invention and innovation, and understanding what traits are necessary to be an innovator 
  • Inspiring an appreciation for scientific breakthroughs and how we got to now 
  • Developing organizational and documentation skills 
  • Facing and overcoming failure 

One of our challenges this week was to create a telegraph machine that could send morse code across the room.

Some of our Eagle’s decided to create their own form of morse code and were demonstrating how to translate it to everyone!

They have also used Dominos to learn about potential and kinetic energy!

We don’t do that here!

This week we have noticed improvement with Eagle’s keeping their promises, speaking with kindness, and keeping the studio more sacred.

For example, we overheard another Eagle that usually struggles with their own behavior saying, “Hey, don’t do that in the circle. We don’t do that here.”

During our weekly town meeting on Friday, Eagles took turns bringing up their issues and voted on solutions for:

  • Using inappropriate “Potty” words – After much debate they decided it was already covered in their existing promises and to hold others more accountable for it.
  • Some Eagles not pulling their weight during lunch cleaning – After a vote they decided you either clean or eat, or lose 5 minutes of free time.
  • Some younger Eagles were singing negative songs about Christmas – this was universally condemned and broke their promise to have a “positive attitude”.

Gratitude was a big topic of our mid week launch as well!

Our Eagles learn at an early age that they are responsible for creating and maintaining the culture of their society – something that is the normally the responsibility of the teacher in a traditional school setting.

Letter to a Hero

This session our Eagles will write a long, formal letter to a hero of their choice, expressing gratitude, finding common ground, and seeking a response.

The goals of this Writers’ Workshop are to encourage Eagles to discover more about their heroes and to explore the different backgrounds and origins of heroes in order to further understand that heroes come from everywhere. 

To complete this Writers’ Workshop, they must complete all of the steps of the writing process: 

  • Prewriting: Research and brainstorming.
  • Drafting: Handwriting first draft and then handwriting or typing a second draft.
  • Revising: Completing peer critiques based on the session’s focus trait.
  • Editing: Participating in Community of Editors and meeting with a Writing Buddy.
  • Publishing: Mailing letter to hero. 

Flexibility!

Eagle’s demonstrating flexibility during Thursday’s Yoga and Tuesday’s martial arts class!

Readers are Leaders!

Our Eagle’s sure do love to read!

Sometimes it’s reading a challenging “badge book” (classical literature) during core skills

Sometimes it’s reading a comic book for fun during DEAR (Drop Everything And Read).

Sometimes it’s group story time read aloud by a guide or older Eagle.

Sometimes it’s individual “reading buddies” reading to the younger Eagles.

Sometimes the younger Eagles read to the older Eagles for feedback and to check their progress.

Mini-Exhibition

We held a mini-exhibition for parents on Friday where Eagle’s showed off last sessions work!

This culminated with their “Pitch a field trip” speeches to convince their classmates to choose their field trip idea!

The stakes were high and their ability to persuade and influence votes with an outstanding public speaking presentation was put to the test.

Afterwards Eagles voted and decided on a field trip to Defy trampoline park as the winner!