Project Week Preview

Brianna Yang


3D Printing (Lexi)

Art Collections in Chicago

Become a YouTube Sensation: Digital Arrangement (Jake)

Chefs of Chicago

Coding 101: Web and App Development

Drumming Up Electronic Circuits

El Mundo Latino en Chicago

Entrepreneurship and Energy

Family-Run Chicago: Hearing the Stories of Chicago’s Independent Businesses (Joyce)

Glass Arts

Habitat for Humanity: Chicagoland

Internships (Annie)

Sharing Our Identites

Shifting Tides: National and Transnational Migration in Bronzeville and Chinatown

Southeast Asian Communities of Chicago

Speed Science: The Physics of Racing

Survivor! Chicago (Me, Van)

Swing and Salsa Dance Connections

Symphony & Opera

Theater in Chicago (Wells)

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Preparedness (Cat)

Art Imitates Place: Exploring Southwestern Identity, Santa Fe 2014

Cambodia through Many Lenses: Reflecting on the Past, Envisioning the Future

Life, Literature, & Legend in Ireland and Scotland

Living Now: A Week of Mindfulness and Meditation

Outdoor Education in Costa Rica

Rocky Mountain Adaptive Skier Guides

Service and Hiking in the Himalayas (Viry)

Southern Spain: A Forgotten History of Religious Tolerance

Story Exchange: A virtual narrative collaboration with high school students from Limerick, Dublin, and Belfast Ireland (Gaby)

Trekking in the Sahara Desert (Bianca)

Wilderness Backpacking and Kayaking

Berlin & Nuremberg Immersion: Student Exchange (Dorer)

Spanish Immersion Experience in Guanajuato, Mexico

Next week, one special Latin student will travel overseas, meet his/her pop star twin, trade places with said twin, fall in love with said twin’s attractive but deceiving singing partner, and perform a song in front of a screaming audience with said twin. I actually think Lizzie McGuire accomplished this first. While we may not all be Lizzie McGuires, we’re all bound to have our own special Lizzie McGuire moment as we traverse both our own city and the globe.

With exciting in and out-of-town options, students had a difficult time ranking only six possible projects to do. This year featured old favorites like “Chefs of Chicago” and “Cambodia through Many Lenses: Reflecting on the Past, Envisioning the Futures” and plenty of exciting new options like “Life, Literature, and Legend in Ireland and Scotland” and “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Preparedness.”

Perhaps the buzziest project this year was “Trekking in the Sahara Desert.” Students in this project will be leaving on Saturday for Marrakech, Morocco and will spend three days hiking in Sahara Desert under the burning Saharan sun. They will also be exploring the Moroccan village of M’Hamid, meeting local tribesmen, and visiting a Moroccan school. According to Bianca Stelian, the students will be “chilling with camels” and will “most likely get very sunburnt.”

A returning favorite, Survivor! Chicago, will allow students (like myself) to participate in reality TV shows like The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway, America’s Got Talent, and, of course, Survivor. At the end of the week, a student will be crowned the Ultimate Survivor. Mr. van Benthuysen, one of the teachers leading the project, said he has prepared for this Project Week by watching “seasons and seasons and seasons of Survivor,” trying to incorporate as many aspects of Survivor as possible For inspiration and supplies, Mr. Van and Mr. Windus perused a local Target to find items that could be used for challenges. Students will be pushed to use multiple skills and work as a team to complete each challenge. For Amazing Race day, students will be running across Chicago and solving clues in order to complete the race the fastest. While planning this day, Mr. Windus used many of his past Amazing Race ideas to shape this year’s Amazing Race day. Mr. van said that the teachers’ goal while planning these days was “to encapsulate the experience of [each] show into a single day.”

Another exciting out-of-town project this year is “Service and Hiking in the Himalayas.” Students in this project will leave tomorrow and endure a nineteen-hour flight to New Delhi. While in India, students will get to experience Holi, a festival where people throw packets of color at each other. They will also be going to a small village in India and work with the local school children. For the last three days, students will be hiking in the Himalayan mountains near the town of Mussorie.

One of the two immersion trips this year will allow students to experience the rich and vibrant culture Germany has to offer. Led by Ms. Dorer and Mr. Fript, students will be delving into the lengthy history of Berlin by exploring the city through the lenses of different time periods. They will also be taking a trip to Nuremberg to see the city and the Nuremberg Trials courtrooms. On their second to last day in Germany, students will be going to a soccer game between Hertha BSC Berlin and Bayern Munich. When asked if it was difficult to travel with a group of high school students, Ms. Dorer laughed and said that while it is always hard to travel in a large group, she loves being with students for two reasons: there are opportunities to get to know others better and “that as a historian, it’s really fun to be in a place where history comes alive.” Ms. Dorer also appreciates the cultural exchange aspect of the trip because students can focus on the Germany of today in addition to the vast history. The Latin students will have plenty of time to interact with their German host families with fun bonding activities like bowling planned, and Latin students will also be spending time at the school of their German hosts and will be sitting in on several classes. The German students who are hosting the Latin students will be coming to Chicago late September.

After completing “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Preparedness,” students will be able defend themselves in case of a worldwide zombie epidemic. Students will be learning essential zombie apocalypse skills like archery, first aid, and identifying edible plant life in the city of Chicago. They’ll also be hearing from a representative of the City of Chicago about the city’s disaster plan.

Senior Annie McDonough is making the most of her Project Week “Internships” by working with an organization called Global Girl Media. This organization coordinates programs across the globe to train high school girls in digital media production. Annie will be helping out with the Chicago program, and will be able contribute to a cause that she is passionate about.

In Chicago, some students will be learning about the many family-run businesses in the city. The students will be looking at various restaurants, bookstores, theatres, and jewelers. They will even be visiting Ash’s Magic Shop, which is run by a magician/comedian, a Gothic clothing store with an interesting Latin connection (the manager went to Latin for “one troubling semester” according to Mr. Joyce), and a bait shop in Bridgeport that sells all kinds of bait from leeches to worms. Mr. Joyce said that the goal of this project week was to celebrate “all these sub-cultures we never think to identify with.”

Junior Lexi Bolandhemat will be exploring the technology of the future in “3D Printing.” She has been preparing by creating a model for a ukulele that she will next week. Lexi is thrilled to get a hands-on experience with “a vital component of manufacturing in the future.”

While they will not be going to Ireland, students in “Story Exchange” will be writing personal essays and exchanging them with students in Ireland. These Latin students will be staying at a lake house in Belgium, Wisconsin, and will spend time video chatting with the Irish students and rewriting their stories.

A classic Project Week option, “Theatre in Chicago,” will be led by Ms. Wells and Ms. Diorio. Starting on Sunday night, students will be seeing plays from different theatre companies around Chicago like “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Water by the Spoonful.” Students will also be participating in improv and acting workshops. Ms. Wells is especially thrilled that this project starts at two in the afternoon, and is excited to lead a Project Week that is not science-based.

Freshman Jake Milner will spend his Project Week becoming a YouTube music sensation. In this project, students will be filming covers of songs and putting them on YouTube in hopes of becoming the next Justin Bieber (cute, pre-puberty Bieber). The students have split up into groups and will be making a video with their assigned groups.

Here’s to hoping that everyone is inspired by their experiences during Project Week, and have a great spring break.]]>