Thursday, October 3, 2013

Update on RealSchool 2013-14

RealSchool -- year 3 -- is getting off to a great start! 

The Arts

We had a first art exhibit at the start of the school year: it was based on the seniors' reflections on technological progress, as seen in their summer reading book, Frank Moss' The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices and on the possibility for personal growth as seen in Sefer Devarim [Deuteronomy], the book of the Torah Frisch is studying this year.

Melissa captured the faces of SixthSense, an MIT Media Lab
project designed for those with autism to be able to
read social cues more easily

We're already percolating ideas for a next art exhibit. We like to do one around Chanukah time. In fact, one of our very first RealSchool events was an art exhibit inspired by one at the Guggenheim of Maurizio Cattelan's work. Remember that? Mrs. Mantell and Mrs. Wiener are thinking they want to hang more stuff from the school ceilings!


Planning for the Fashion Show is well under way. We don't have a tagline yet -- as you know, the show only really starts to feel official when we have a cute saying with an accompanying graphic made by Jamie Lebovics. Jamie is looking for RS members who want to be graphic design apprentices, so be sure to let her know if you're interested. 

We have nailed down some important details about this year's fashion show, which will be in March:

Mrs. Mantell secured us a grant for the show, contingent upon the fact that we're going to have an environmental component to it. That's no problem because the Health and Environment team is now working even more symbiotically than it ever has with the fashion team to make that happen. (Last year's theme -- based around fair trade practices -- also lent itself to a partnership between those two RealSchool teams.)

We've decided each grade will build a terrarium that reflects the biome the grade will represent. On Monday this past week, we finalized the following biomes for each grade:

Freshmen: Ocean
Sophomores: Forest
Juniors: Desert (because junior year feels like a trek through that kind of vast wasteland)
Seniors: the many biomes of Israel

The narrative we say at the show will explain the significance of the biome for each grade, in the way we just did for the juniors ;)

This year we'll once again collaborate with the Frisch Dance team and have them perform dances throughout the fashion show which will be thematically related.

We know you want to know how we know how to make terrariums, and the answer -- in RealSchool fashion -- is we don't! But we're going to learn by doing! We're also trying to get a Frisch science teacher involved so perhaps we stand a chance of making these terrariums correctly, but we're not daunted if that doesn't happen. We know we can tackle this one. We have lots of kids who took Bio and are taking AP Bio, and we heard there's this thing called the Internet where we can get some how-to information on how to go about this. Look what we found already!

Social Entrepreneurship

Now this team has had a slow start in RealSchool. You could say we've all been focused on building RealSchool these past two years so we haven't had time for so many other ventures, but now that RS is on solid footing, we can focus our efforts on additional start-ups. The Social Entrepreneurship team met this morning and decided to focus, for now, on two ventures, one non-profit and one for-profit one. We think it's cool that the for-profit venture is a continuation of a project students began in Mrs. Silverman's Engineering course last year. Go STEM!

Of course, non-profits are close to our hearts, and we're looking forward to working this year on a project with Daniel Rothner of Areyvut, someone we're excited to have met at the Summer Sandbox.

Talking about the non-profit we're working on this year
We're really excited about all we have going already and look forward to keeping you updated on our progress!