Some kids would like nothing more than to spend extra time at school in the art lab, developing their pottery skills. Others might be passionate about learning how to handle emergencies in the wilderness. Friday Explorations at Mack-Boulder ensure that each student gets the chance to explore an area of interest that doesn’t usually occur in a typical school day.
The second of three Friday Explorations sessions wrapped last week.
Under the “arts” umbrella, the aforementioned pottery (or “Mack Mud Makers”) was offered, as was a Fabric Arts class. Students upcycled old t-shirts to weave rugs on looms made out of hula hoops. “Pickin’ and Strummin’” appealed to students who wanted to learn how to play the guitar.
For book worms, “Camp Read-a-Lot” was offered to our younger students—reading in tents with flashlights and hot cocoa while also exploring character, genre, new authors, and such. Older “worms” had the opportunity to join the “Mock Newbery Award Committee.” They selected and read three Newbery-contenders and vigorously discussed them based on the criteria the actual Newbery Award Committee uses. On the last day, the group visited Boulder Book Store to meet with the children & young adult departments book buyer.
The students who chose “E-Textiles” learned the basics of embedding circuitry into fabric and other flexible materials—the made cool bracelets, light-up stuffies, and other exciting creations. In another “maker” class, students used VEX Robotics kits to design and build “Battle Bots.” A Battle Bot competition was the culminating event!
In “Mack-Incorporated” the students learned about prototyping products, mass production with quality control, marketing/promotion, creating a business plan, and sales. In “History of the Hero in Film” the students started with Charlie Chaplin and his film Modern Times and continued with the evolution of the hero in film with the Lone Ranger, Zorro, and Robin Hood.
For the students who wanted physical action, there were three offerings: “Mack Movers Around the World” (a combination of dance, geography, costumes, music, and rhythm), “Fitness Fun” (a big gym mashup of obstacle courses, relays, fitness stations and dancing), and “Field Trip Fitness” (offsite fitness experiences such as parkour, climbing, boarding, and a cycling course).
In “Wilderness Medicine Level One” students learned skills such as taking a pulse and respiratory rate, building a makeshift stretcher, splinting broken bones, stopping severe bleeding, and, most importantly, how to stay calm and keep the patient calm.
Friday Explorations provide amazing opportunities for students, but they also allow teachers to share their interests and passions with students outside of a classroom setting. Allowing the opportunity for students to work with students in other grades is another favorite aspect. Overall, Friday Explorations provide additional excitement and enrichment while helping to further strengthen the Mack-Boulder community. We’re excited for the Spring session to begin!