In Passion Project work, grade 7 students have had some true “learning for life” experiences, where resilience and perseverance were tested. They did not learn for the test, but rather for life. Discovery has mattered more than the outcome: experiential learning teaches students not only about their own chosen subject matter, but about themselves and their own approaches to learning. They designed and planned their own projects, then worked independently towards their goals. Of course they had input from teachers, from parents and the experts all around them.
One project involved designing and costing a half-pipe skating ramp: here we are talking about measuring, quantity surveying, planning construction and diplomatic market research! Several students worked on fashion design, cutting and making garments. Another student scripted a film (based on a novel) with a trailer produced as a taster; a pair of students designed and built a model of a house, complete with functioning electrical light-bulbs.
Producing videos, including stop-motion and/or live acting; painting a large canvas in acrylic to practice a specific style; public speaking, time management and certainly deep investigation were some of the other learning experiences.
By the end of the semester, the students have learned much about their own strengths and weaknesses.
By Stephanie Wintjes, Art teacher