For the 2nd and 3rd trimester of 2019-2020, the Creator's Studio elective is working in tandem with Musical Tech, the team that helps to produce the Spring Musical at WNS. Musical Tech covers everything from lighting and backdrops, to musical scores. The team is also responsible for stage props and set designs.
After a year off, during which time I transitioned to a new school and helped to build out a new space, Creator's Studio is back in action. Thank you to St. Matthew's (SMPS) for the many years I taught and developed the course there. Thank you to Westside Neighborhood School (WNS) for welcoming this course elective at the middle school.
Images and articles within this site are still primarily from SMPS, but will gradually grow to include experiences here at WNS. In my desire to document all that I possibly can, and to maintain an archive of a diverse selection of student projects, I have chosen to keep everything available. I find there is great value for current students to see previous student work, and for now that means work from another school.
The elective schedule is a bit different at WNS. Rather than meet three times per 6-day cycle for 45 minute periods, I see the students once per cycle for 2 hours. While the total number of minutes is reduced, the quality of work during that time has improved. We can dive deeper into our projects for extended periods, and clean up happens just once. Students don't feel rushed to start on a project, only to have to clean up a few minutes later.
As my students are new to the space and the tools, I am spending time getting them trained. Our first project is the creation of wooden toolboxes from scrap wood in our Maker Court. These boxes are for our 6th grade to use during the Legends of the Trash Creatures project, and frankly for any future project where groups need to store a small amount of supplies. By building these toolboxes, students learn to use the miter saw, belt sander, band saw, drills, drivers, clamps, square and measuring tape. They learn to take accurate measurements, to plan ahead, and to organize their materials and tools. They learn to respect the use of power tools and to work safely.
The primary project for students in Creator's Studio is a personal one. After training on these tools, and others in the coming weeks, students will focus on a project of their own making. They will select the tools and materials they need in order to complete that project. It may be digital, it may be analog, it will likely be a blend of both. I am eager to see what they create.