Project Week 2019: A Photo Essay

Jessica Flohr Welcome back for the second annual Project Week photo essay and overview! The projects this year were arguably some of the best yet, with 17 In-Town Projects, 19 Out-of-Town Projects, and 3 Global Exchanges. Ranging from filmmaking in South Africa to attending theatre here in Chicago, students had the ability to have new experiences, learn about different cultures, and get to know students from other grades. Here are just some of the highlights from the incredible trips this year: The Madrid Exchange This year, the Madrid Exchange was offered for the first time at Latin. 20 students (including myself!) traveled to Spain where we stayed with host families, visited our host student’s school, saw and learned about incredible art and history, and in addition, had the opportunity to take day trips to Córdoba and Toledo. Although the trip got off to a rocky start, with the flight to Spain getting canceled after waiting at the airport all day, everyone had an amazing time trying traditional Spanish food like Spanish omelettes and chocolate con churros (chocolate churros), spending time with their host families, practicing their Spanish, wandering through beautiful parks, and even attending a Real Madrid game. Filmmaking in South Africa: Behind the Scenes of Biographical Storytelling One amazing trip this year was to South Africa where students had the chance to learn about filmmaking and then use their new skills to film South African children who had written autobiographical screenplays about their lives. A highlight of the trip for Junior Nora Deeney was “getting to know everyone and spending time together during the day and at the hostel” as well as learning about filmmaking. Prior to the trip Nora “didn’t have any experience with the equipment” but students “worked with professional filmmakers to learn about the cameras and the filmmaking process.” Additionally, Nora explained that she loved visiting the little kids at the daycare and getting to connect with kids her age through sharing stories. Pottery A requirement for this project was being willing to get your hands dirty, as students learned about different clay and glazes in addition to how to make pottery on a wheel. Senior, Natalie Wexler explained that the “project” was “interesting since [she] had literally never done it before” and while “working with the wheel proved to be challenging” it was “kind of relaxing just playing with the clay.” Although Natalie shared that most of the things she made probably aren’t usable another highlight of her experience was hanging out with the other people on her Project Week. Theatre in Chicago A Project Week favorite is always Theatre in Chicago. This year students had the chance to see five different shows, including Hamilton and performances at Second City. Giselle Ayala, Junior, explained that the Second City show “was absolutely hilarious and [that] seeing Hamilton for the first time was incredible.” She also shared that this Project Week gave her the opportunity to “appreciate a lot of the planning and crafting that goes into putting on shows every night.” Sea Turtle Ecology On this Project Week, students traveled to Costa Rica where they studied leatherback sea turtles, restored the beach where the turtles nested, and visited the rain forest to learn about and research bats and butterflies. Junior Lily Townsend shared that the best things about the trip were “making new friends and experiencing science like never before” as they “were able to see four turtles and work with them to best increase their chances for survival.” Additionally, participants in the trip learned about eco-friendly initiatives they can take to help improve the environment in their everyday lives. Intramural Science Olympiad On this In-Town Project students had the chance to build and test Science Olympiad events before participating in an in-house competition. Additionally, students volunteered their time at a middle school CPS Regional Science Olympiad competition held at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Junior Rose Branson shared that this Pweek was a great way to “allowed for new acquaintances, creative thinking and of course, a whole lot of friendly competition” while “connecting to” the “STEM interests” of the group. Regardless of the wild stories and unexpected mishaps, there’s no doubt that this year’s Project Week was a success!]]>