Tuesday, January 5, 2016

International Investigations Workshops

Tuesday, January 5th

Our first week back from winter break each year begins with four full days of what we call "International Investigations Workshops". During the fall, the students choose from a variety of options a topic they would like to spend an extended period of time interacting with and learning about. Groups meet a couple times in the fall prior to winter break, but the largest chunk of time occurs our first week back.

IIW allows students to learn about cultures around the world in new and interesting ways by playing games and visiting new sites to engage in new fun experiences. Students choose from a variety of activities including The Great Outdoors, Guitar Around the World, Jump Rope, Tai Chi, Card Games, and many others.

Throughout this week, keep an eye on our twitter feed and daily blog updates to follow along with the adventures and experiences our students are engaged in. Posts, tweets, and photos are contributed both by staff and students. Culmination of this material, plus addition of new material, for our blog is a joint effort of faculty member Shaun Wegscheid and Middle Years student Ashley Henderson.

Wednesday, January 6th

Each day brings different student groups a variety of experiences.

Today, student groups visit NASA, Schlumberger, Farmer's Markets, and a variety of other locations. Students on campus get to meet and receive feedback from an Audio Technician, design and create Chinese Dragon costumes for a Chinese Dragon New Year's Dance, learn to cook Okonomiyaki (a Japanese dish sometimes called Japanese Pizza and often compared to a pancake or an omelette), utilize GPS to participate in small scale geocaching, and a variety of other activities.

Most students will continue the rest of the week coming and leaving school each morning, participating in a variety of activities and trips. Our 7th graders won't return home until Friday; they're off to spend several days at camp. Their activities include using dichotomous keys to identify organisms, forest succession, nature hikes, and other outdoor activities. Our Model UN students also bid farewell to home today. They head out to San Antonio to participate in the MUNSA Conference (Model United Nations San Antonio). MUNSA is the largest student run Model UN Conference in the world. Students will return at the week's end.

Thursday, January 7th

Today is the third day of our IIW week. The Culture of Japan students visit the Asia Society Texas Center. The Tai Chi group continues working with a visiting instructor who focusing on Bagua style of Wushu Taichi. After understanding the basics, the Tinikling group is now choreographing their own routines to modern music. They will perform at our upcoming Open House for prospective students. Here's a couple of students demonstrating some of the basic steps:

The Traditional Dance Around the World continues working on their Dragon Dance for the Open House. Piñatas for Charity have a variety of piñatas nearing completion for an auction on Jan 15. True to its name, the the revenue will then be donated to charity. Cultural Investigation: Board Games participated in a skype call with writer and board games designer Ted Alspach.

These are just a few of the experiences our students engaged in today. Want to see more of what our students are doing this week? Check out our Twitter feed and our daily IIW blog entries.


Friday, January 8th

It’s the last day of IIW, this week's adventures and experiences conclude today. After a visit to an archery range yesterday, the students create educational videos on archery. The piñatas for charity group is making posters to put around the school- informing the student body about the silent auction on Jan 15 during the middle school and upper school lunch. 

Tinikling recorded their dance routine, they are now editing and analyzing their recordings to look for ways to improve. They'll be posting their videos on youtube after editing. The Folklore and art group finishes works of art that correspond with various cultures. Taichi performs a demonstration of forms. Of course, there are many other groups on campus doing a variety of things as they also finish up the week and their studies in their specific area of interest.

It's been a great week full of a variety of experiences. We hope you've enjoyed following our blog entries, photos, and tweets provided by a variety of staff and students. We'll be back to our regular curriculums on Monday.

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