Bruce Museum Showcase

Perstorical Essay:

I’ve been going to the same church, on the same street, fellowshipping with the same congregation every Sunday for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I attended Sunday school and grew up there, achieving a sort of responsibility to take care of the younger kids. I sing in the church choir and I’ve gotten better and better as a tenor as the years go by. And through that time I had never once doubted that God, yes capital G, existed. But recently I’ve had some doubts misgivings really, like asking myself if I truly believed in a heaven or was it just nothingness after death. Every time those thoughts pop into my head, I try to shut it out because I can’t believe there’s just nothing to life. That experience reminded me of when I made an amateur paper on the subject of creation and it’s connected to the theory of evolution. This act of synthesis made me think harder about what I learned in school because I believe a lot of what science tells us except for the evolution and big bang part and that belief/disbelief was precisely what the traditionalists and the modernists battled over in the 1920s.

Before the 1920’s religion in America never really changed Catholics, Jews, and Orthodox Catholics are always in the background while Protestants dominating the field. However during the 1920s religion began to change when Protestants experienced their first major hit, “denominational giving dropped” and there was a serious decline in the foreign-missions/missionary field (Baughman). Unsurprisingly, at the same time, the Theory of Evolution was being introduced to the public and integrated into schools in the scientific community. Religious communities pushed against this which started the battle between the traditionalists and the modernists. 

This battle is represented best in The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes court trial of 1925, more commonly known as the Scopes Trial. During this trial, a high school teacher named John Scopes was accused of breaking Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach the theory of evolution. After 9 days of back and forth, Scopes was found guilty and forced to $100 about $1,300 today. The Tennessee Supreme Court later confirmed the constitutionality of the law but reversed Scopes verdict.

It’s almost hard to believe these fights ended up in court. Even though it’s a constant struggle I find the battle quite honestly, boring and frankly, it’s infuriating mostly because they used to coexist peacefully. But now their relationship is becoming like a fight between a strict parent and a rebellious child. In the end, however, it can all fall to one simple idea Pascal’s Wager: If you believe in god and he eats you got to heaven, but if he doesn’t then nothing happens, but if you don’t believe in god and he doesn’t exist, nothing again and if he does exist you burn in hell. So it’s better to believe in God just in case and Atheism is a dismal existence, so why not try this Christianity thing out. This philosophy is called pragmatism, even though it’s not my belief, it still works unless you’re fine and already had some sort of revelation or have a connection to god, capital g in most cases. But for other people, including atheists and scientists, why does disproving something that gives comfort to others during dark times give them some sort of sick kick? I think it has to do with wanting to be right to have a straight, undeniable answer to life but life itself isn’t black and white. So why do we expect the reason for it to be?

Going back to my amateur paper connecting the Big Bang and evolution to creation as I believe it was smart of me at the time, however today that the paper wouldn’t matter because people will be people, with all our twisted and disgusting actions and beliefs we try to hide. Even though we use words such as humane or inhumane it’s just a delusion, a narcissistic one at that, but that’s a topic for another day.

Getting back on topic, I can’t give the scopes trial, religion in the 1920s, or even religion, in general, a rating because I don’t think it deserves one not because it’s bad or not even good. It has its ups and downs, especially in today’s society that was primarily caused by the scopes trial and some other turbulence of the age and past. To appease people I would say 2.5/5 stars or a 5/10 because it’s in the middle. I can’t live without religion, not for any reason I can explain as with so many other people this is mainly why it’s shown in a bad light, but then again religion, in general, has been the foundation of various cultures since before written language. So you can give it a rating if you want, but to me, it’s too enigmatic and frivolous despite its importance and rampant debate.

 

Artist Statement:

During the 1920s, the Scopes Trial served as a catalyst for one of the greatest battles in recent history, positioning Christian theologians and believers against researchers and other scientists. This historic bout would later define the power balance between religion and science.d This ripple effect is still felt in society today.

Since the integration of the theory of evolution in schools during the 1920s, faith–especially among Christians–has decreased as a result. The artist believes that science has executed groundbreaking discoveries with its advancements in medicine and technology, however, he feels that science has gotten too much of a shackle on society. That hold then leads to a sort of persecution of the faithful and their beliefs. Because of this, he feels that things were best when Christianity and science were on an even playing field.

The artist utilizes wooden mannequins dressed in black and white felt to symbolize Christian and scientist garments. He also uses different-sized mannequins to show the difference in power over time. He showed this advancement of time through technology. He used light (from a torch to a flashlight) to showcase man’s journey through enlightenment.

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Why an exhibition is the best way to showcase your students understanding

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When creating a piece such as an essay or a project group based or not it is destined to get boring, leaving you to try less and less. That is if the audience for your work is always Mr. or Mrs. Blank- your teacher. However, once you introduce a group of ever-changing people that might include your parents or other guests, the project or essay gets a whole lot more interesting and seems to require more zeal than before. I noticed that in primary school and junior high we were often bombarded with writing assignments and projects that were often showed the same people over and over again causing me to try less each time because I felt as if I had shown all my capabilities to that someone and if I tried again I would be showing everything I had shown already. However now InLab implements an exhibition, a public display of work, that gives me and my peers that chance to really show our learning and veracity in a variety of mediums that are different every few months to every year This fact allows me to show differences and elevation in my learning and how I could display certain things I have learned in the future. For instance, I could display my understanding in terms of a play or a documentary instead of a boring Google Slides presentation. This would show a lot more skill and understanding instead of regurgitated data which personally I don’t like and most teachers say not to do and instead “use your own words.”

Inlab Trip to Bush-Holley House

 

 

Throughout the history of America and their decisions and global relations Greenwich has been impacted in one way or another I learned this incredible fact during an InLab directed tour of the Bush-Holley House on October 22nd. Before we get into all that, let’s start at the beginning, we left around 10 30-ish and instead of taking a bus we walked making casual conversation along the way. As we walked we made some stops in which Mr. Belnager bean to talk about certain historical facts that I found very interesting, especially when he spoke about Boss Tweet. One major highlight of the walk was getting pizza at Fairfield pizza I never really had pizza from there but I would rate it pretty high because it tasted fairly good. Now to my main point after the journey, we arrived at the Bush Holly house place and were then promptly split into two groups on went to the Bush Holy house and the other went to the archives then after we would switch. Me along with my friend Andre and Junior were part of the first group that went to the house once we got there, it brought a few memories but despite having previous knowledge I learned a lot of things especially about immigration and the effects that had on the U.S.A and Greenwich as a whole After learning about that and some interesting stuff about some artisans we switched with group two and went down to the archives despite being not as fun as the other one it was very interesting learning about immigration and America’s view on it which hasn’t really changed today. Overall it was a great trip and I had a lot of laughs and learned a great deal on the way some of which I think I will remember for a long time.

Greenwich Avenue Interviews

 

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When we were going to the Board of Education on Greenwich Avenue to interview  Assistant HR Director Regina Williams after so much build-up I would think most students would be anxious, nervous, scared even, but I felt none of that not even a smidge of excitement. Normally when I feel like that I hate what we’re doing but I didn’t hate it. I actually quite liked getting out of our normal school environment I even showed that being outgoing and doing some very unusual things as we waited for the bus and as we walked back into the school. I thought as we entered the Board of Ed I would feel all the emotions come to me then but I felt nothing I signed in and interviewed Regina Williams and still felt nothing. I did, however, feel some surprise because I didn’t anticipate her talking as much as she did (which was not a bad thing, mind you). I thought that was that and we were going on to my friend Andre’s interview but she didn’t answer one of my questions and instead directed me to someone I knew very well but I had no idea held a certain position, HR Director  Shamine Johnson after catching up with some small talk I asked her similar questions to which I asked Regina Williams, I mainly spoke about the demographics of students vs the teachers and what she believed should be done and why.

Then one surprise came after another when I got some insight from Andre’s interview with Superintendent Toni Jones about classism and the complexity of education she observes in her position. If that wasn’t enough I had another surprise interview with Julie from the Greenwich Alliance one of the people that supplied the research for InLab and eventually helped create it and be what it is today. After thanking and completing her profusely I talked to her about her outlook on education in Greenwich, why she came here to work, and why she decided to establish Inlab in the first place. After that surprise encounter, we hurried to my brother’s interview with the Greenwich Art Society director and finally went to Starbucks even though we literally had no time left. 

Now when I’m actually writing and thinking about the experience I feel weirded out that I didn’t feel anxious but I’m very proud of myself because I did something I didn’t know I could do so well; adapting and change personality when talking and being in the presence of such influential figures (even though I don’t really care about their titles). 

Overall, it was a fun experience and I learned a lot of things but mainly about the severe imbalance of the demographics of students and teachers. I also learned that it was an issue that the Board of Ed as an entire unit is tackling before I even knew it was a problem. Though I do wish I could’ve done man of the street interviews to get anecdotes of people’s experience in school, how they feel about Greenwich Public Schools, and how much of school material they used in their day to day life including their occupations.

The Wallet Project

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So this past week we were tasked to complete a personalized wallet for one of our two teachers. We had to complete various steps such as to employ empathy by the use of interviews, then to reframe the issue and think even deeper about the problem, then ideate about 5 different wallets to tackle different aspects of the wallet, and finally we had to create an ultimate more detailed wallet IRL.

I really enjoyed the hands-on experience of the creation process. Interviewing Mr. Belanger, an educator at GHS, was such a treat because it was cool learning more about him, his family, his past experiences, and what he likes in terms of efficiency and just to relax. Through that conversation, I learned he preferred simplistic efficiency rather than a large, lavish, and colorful wallet. He wanted to be able to just flash his ID and GHS ID as quickly as possible so he would’ve liked to have his ID’s on both sides of his wallet. He also wanted to be able to have a different place to put his cash and various cards so a zipper could be something I could employ. Another aspect was to be able to keep track of it so I thought of putting a tracker on it. One of the final and most important things we had conversations about was his love of his family and writing. So I thought to put pictures of him, his wife, and his kittens and maybe have a small notepad in his wallet when he had ideas so he could just write when he had ideas. Then when we finally made the wallet it cool because it was a hands-on activity that we could really adapt whenever we wanted to.

The design thinking process could be used for a bunch of different things such as a computer or notebook. Another idea could be using it for an essay because you can start writing and then use the empathy step (which we used to interview) for research instead of interviews. Then make a list of different directions then narrow it down and go with the best one to make an essay. I really like this process because it could be used for a score of different things so it was really fun.

The Vision of the Graduate

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The Vision of the Graduate is a text that outlines specific capacities that students are expected to gain by the time they graduate. The Vision of the Graduate is separated into three parts: academic capacities, personal capacities, and interpersonal capacities. Out of the three sections, two capacities really stuck out to me: “Collaborating with others to produce a unified work and or heightened understanding” and the second capacity being “Mastering a core body of knowledge.”

 

The first capacity that stuck out to me was “Collaborating with others to produce a unified work and or heightened understanding.” In other words, working in a group to make a project that helps us understand and analyze a topic. Knowing what that means I feel like I have grown significantly in the first capacity because in classes such as  Humanities and Biology I have been tasked to work in a group to create something the showed our understanding of the topic. For example, in Humanities my group was tasked to create a model for a WWII monument. For that project, I helped get supplies like toy soldiers and tanks. I also gathered information for dates and events In another project for Biology, my group made a Google Spreadsheet about climate change and penguins in which I researched about how climate change is decreasing their numbers and their preys numbers I also added the numbers I found into it. After going through the semester I feel like I have grown because I got an 84% on the Humanities project and an 81% on the Biology project in getting this grade and looking back at the process I feel like I created a project the showed a heightened understand by showing that I can make a graph about something I had little knowledge on before and explain/hypothesize about the future of their species based on my understanding.

However, I feel as if I need to work on the second capacity, mastering a core body of knowledge, because I feel as if even though I have done great in my classes mainly math and science during tests and midterms I haven’t shown that I can teach someone something like this. For example in biology, I haven’t had many assignment grades below 80% but I haven’t performed as I wanted to by getting an A which shows a high understanding of the topic. In math, though all the tests I have taken have never been lower than a 90% I haven’t executed as fast and as efficient as I think I should to master a core body of knowledge for example in almost every class when doing an assignment 1 or 2 people finish before prompting me to rush lowering my grade and also when I finish a test long before the suggested end time or before anyone else I always get lower than a 98% which is not a bad score but does not show I have fully mastered the material.

In all even though I have accomplished one capacity I still haven’t mastered the capacities I want to complete. So I need to work hard as the second semester is beginning.

 

Midway through my Genius Hour

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While working on my montage of the three techniques used by Olympic sprinters, I have learned a lot of things regarding the process of creating a documentary.

 

There are many challenges since I didn’t have many materials to work with. Because I am inexperienced in making a documentary, it is hard. It doesn’t help to have an inexperienced cameraman. I also need another person to record my time, since my cameraman has to use both hands. I have been timing myself with my phone, which doesn’t seem effective since I am trying to run at the same time

 

Although, there have been many challenges, such as blurry footage or inaccurate timing. I have learned the science behind running in the cold. Studies show running in the cold trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Another bit of science is that, although when you exercise, your heart and your lungs work hard, in the cold they work even harder. Low temperatures make your blood vessels and arteries more restricted, which reduces oxygen and blood flow to your heart so it pumps harder and faster.

 

These challenges and facts have really taught me some things about how to make my project better and how to do well on projects like this in the future. Even though I haven’t dealt with the camera problem I have some ideas on how to fix it like changing the timing problem like getting another person out on the track with us to time me instead of doing it myself; If I don’t it’s going to be hard focusing on the different techniques and how to do them correctly.  

Growth Mindset in terms of my Genius Hour

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Throughout my Genius Hour project, I have encountered two types of mindsets the fixed and the growth. The first being a mindset in which you believe that what you have achieved at the moment is all you can achieve but the latter is a mindset in which you believe you can do better and you want to try harder even though you fail at first. In discovering these two mindsets I have also discovered why I may have failed or succeeded in some portions of my project.
In one part of my project, I saw that when recording my running half of the recordings were incredibly blurry, instead of trying to fix the problem I said to heck with it and left like that thinking I couldn’t do anything to fix it. That event was an example of a fixed mindset, not a great example but an example nonetheless.  An example of growth mindset occurred when I was running, I was running and I kept getting numbers around the 10-second mark and I was thinking to myself you can go faster or go faster and I didn’t stop trying and pushing myself and eventually, I broke the 9-second mark getting a 9:92. This moment in which things weren’t going as I wanted them to, I thought to myself I gotta change that, that is what growth mindset is even if you don’t achieve something.

That’s the thing about these mindsets there’s the fixed in which you think after you fail you can’t do anything and you’ll never succeed but having a growth mindset, a mindset in which you tell yourself that I can do better that mindset, the growth mindset is what makes people work for what they want, it’s the mindset that makes people innovate.

Starting my Genius Hour

 

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In Design Studio my teacher Mr. Belanger assigned the class to do a Genius Hour research project. Obviously, I chose to research different techniques of Olympic sprinters so I could develop my running form and techniques I really wanted to do this because I am really good at it, and I like the way it feels when I run, and I also feel like I can excel at something like this in the future.

When I start doing this I expect to see the different strengths and weaknesses of different sprinters and test out which one makes me faster or slower. I’m also hoping to incorporate all the techniques I research; for example, different starts, drives, and stride techniques that positively impact my sprinting the greatest. I also expect others in the future to see the video I’m going to do and see why I am excelling in the Olympics. That’s what I want to do with the data I get help others run faster.  

The only thing I can see standing in my way is the lack of analyses on Olympic sprinters running form and techniques so I guess I’ll just have to dig deeper to find out how to work on getting my drive phase to be as effective as Asafa Powell’s and my starting to be as strong and accurate as Ben Johnson’s.

The Journey Begins

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My past experiences with learning were rather mediocre and not as hands-on as Innovation lab promises to be. The only experience that had a lasting positive feeling to me was my 8th grade English classes because I had this teacher named Mrs. Fallon, and she is currently the best teacher I’ve encountered so far class with her was a very fun experience because it was different from my other classes in the way that she didn’t really act like a teacher. She taught things, as she put it “wasn’t made by some old or dead white guy.” She taught the class more stuff about life and how to treat people and better your writing instead of just stuffing reading and writing information in your head and giving you endless essays instead she gave us different types of assignments that were more project based.  

I haven’t experienced that much this year but the things that stick out to me are our mini project to create a prototype of a tool that can create a safe source of light or purifying water, it sticks out to me because even though I did minimal work it was fun thinking in different ways because you had to use objects you wouldn’t use to do the given task. The other thing that was pretty cool was the I slides in Humanities but what I really found fun and interesting is doing what we’re doing now making blog posts and stuff like that.

Based on what I’ve experienced in Innovation Lab I hope to start understanding how to go about learning things in ways I haven’t done and understanding more about how I can use Innovation Lab as a way to further my learning. I also hope to do more group activities around topics that I’m interested in and I may not know about. I think that in Innovation Lab I expect we will do activities outside the classroom.