I am not sure why they say that cats have nine lives (neither does Google by the way), but I now know why they say that managing people can be like herding cats. Working with nine students in the REDI Lab this trimester gave me an experience of what I imagine it is like to herd cats. Engaging in nine different self-directed pathways toward the completion of nine different highly personalized projects made me feel like I was managing a creative studio, full of the chaotic and clarifying twists and turns that are a part of the learning process.
During the trimester, students in the REDI Lab have continued practicing the mindsets instilled in the first few weeks of the term as they worked through the complexities of self-directed learning and long term projects. From there, students moved toward the completion of their individual projects which culminated in some strong final presentations. In the process, students produced 4 hours of audio content, 5 articles, 5 short stories, 15 biographies, an 18 page business plan, 24 poems, 30 minutes of edited video content, a 223 page incomplete manifesto, and more than 540 pages of writing in their learning journals.
As we continue to create learning opportunities that allow Colorado Academy students to realize their talents, we will take inspiration from what our students produced this year. Our hope for the future is that our REDI Lab students recognize the new skills and competencies they have acquired and that they apply them during their senior year, during the college admissions process, and during the metaphorical nine lives they will lead in a rapidly changing world.
2016-2017 Student Projects
- Ryan Antenucci ∙ Ryan Antenucci’s YouTube Channel ∙ created videos that reveal the art of the building process.
- Greg Cain ∙ Alternative Truths ∙ explored the nature of the truth through philosophy and religion.
- Joanna Cotto ∙ Better Thoughts Than Usual ∙ wrote a book of poetry based on her evolving identity.
- Aliyah Fard ∙ Colorful Hidden History ∙ wrote articles about the contributions of African Americans in Colorado.
- Jayne Kay ∙ Unconditional Love: A Motherhood Project ∙ studied the dynamics of motherhood.
- William McCormick ∙ any∙whair ∙ developed a business model for a new type of air travel system.
- Sebastian Skipwith ∙ The Journey of an Idea ∙ developed a manifesto about economic possibilities.
- Paige Thomas ∙ Race to Learning ∙ created a short film about what people think about race in Colorado.
- Wyatt Westfall ∙ Thunder Can’t Hurt You ∙ wrote a collection of short stories about human experience.