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Action, Animals, and Art

Action, Animals, and Art: ISP students share and the community celebrates demonstrations of learning during Stretch Day

During the Middle and Upper School Stretch Days in March 2022, students were able to celebrate their learning growth by sharing projects they’ve created over time,  persisting because they found the challenges and end goal relevant. We were thrilled to see so many of our parents joining us in person here on campus to learn more about their children’s learning journeys. After more than two years with limited parent access to campus, we feel that ISP is coming back to life.

Grade 6 Call to Action

This year, ISP science teachers have been learning with and from Inspire Citizens about how to go from “empathy to action” at each grade level across the school. The Grade 6 team took this redesign to another level through developing an interdisciplinary unit.

Throughout this unit, students have been learning about climate change, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the lenses of sustainability. The students investigated sustainable solutions to address global issues associated with climate change. Finally, they created action plans to mitigate these issues and take sustainable action for our future. This unit served as a great example of our commitment to empowering curious, competent, compassionate, changemakers.

Students celebrated their learning with presentations for their peers, parents, and grade 5 students. d’Arcy Lunn, founder of Teaspoons for Change, served as the keynote speaker for the celebration event held on the Middle School March 16 stretch day.

Grade 9 Study of Evolution

Inspired by the “Miracles of Evolution” exhibit at the National Museum, our Grade 9 students selected an animal in order to further study the evidence of evolution. They investigated comparative embryology, vestigial organs, homologous structures and DNA evidence.  Students had to be proactive in groups, research their animals in depth, and be creative in creating 3D models and educational videos. In the secondary science corridor you can see the exhibit and scan the QR codes attached to the cardboard model in order to learn more about biology. 

The next time you’re in the Upper School, please grab a QR code and learn more about evolution through these fascinating animals. Meanwhile, please take a look at a few of the student videos using creative ways to help others better understand these unique creatures and clarify the concept of evolution:

Karl, David
Platypuses w Prof KarlPlatypus ParodyTop Platypus Facts
Rhino: Sona, Sofie, YubinBiogeographyGenetic DiversityHomologous Structures

Grade 12 IB Art Exhibit

Our grade 12 IB Visual Arts Diploma students prepared and shared their curated collection developed during the past year and a half. The exhibition included their amazing journals which tracked their research, thinking and project development over time.

 In case you weren’t able to see the exhibition in person, here are quotes from their curatorial rationale along with a few of the pieces from the exhibition:

I enjoy combining my intellectual interests (biology and psychology), which is why the focal point of my art has been the environment, specifically the ways in which it is endangered. Through the incorporation of biology, I address environmental contamination and promote conservation. Through psychology, I create art to express emotion related to these issues. This emotion is meant to trigger feelings of the viewers in hopes to convince them to also take action.  – Ayla, Grade 12
In my exhibition, my goal is to have the viewer gain a profound understanding of machines and systems that they would not have otherwise thought about, and perhaps form a greater appreciation for the complexity and beauty that is sometimes overlooked in seemingly mundane technology. To try to achieve this objective, I arranged my pieces in a way that begins with the more conventional ideas of machinery, with the “Three Plane Reality” piece and then begins to challenge these ideas by highlighting the “Red Bat” piece against the only white panel to make it stand out. Finally, the aquatic-mechanism pieces on the left are displayed together to enhance the viewers experience, allowing them to compare and contrast different ways this sea life is affected by human systems. – John Dennis, Grade 12
A theme that is consistent throughout my work is that of gender in culture. Woven into all cultures is a sense of gender representation and symbolism, even in the aspects which are not inherently human. This includes cultural variations between parts of the globe to even representational variations in a single culture. I myself am both Czech and American, meaning I grew up surrounded by several cultures. The way different members of my family view gender roles has always been a point of fascination for me, which is why I found it a fitting theme to explore in visuals. – Anna, Grade 12
My inspiration throughout my IB visual arts course has been the human body. Figures and bodies are something that interests me due to its beautiful ability to portray emotions and feelings through poses and expressions. Main themes behind my paintings usually consist of topics connected to the inner state or inner self of a person, which I try to portray to the viewer with specific color combinations or composition. I also have found myself in developing my own style in the way I execute my art and in the way I present my ideas and thoughts to the viewer. – Lisa, Grade 12
For my exhibition, I wanted to create an atmosphere that allowed the audience to focus on the artwork, rather than what is around them. One aspect of my exhibit that will help with that will be the light framing the pieces, bringing out the colors in the pieces much like a museum exhibit. The light also serves so that they may add more depth to any piece that has a 3-dimensional surface, or texture. The white light will also be an effective contrast to the colors on the pieces such as Split in two, to further draw in the eyes of the audience. The style of the background panels will be very minimalistic, allowing the viewer to have no distractions from the pieces, and having to look at too many things at once. Giulio, Grade 12