Friday, October 24, 2014

Intersessions are Underway at BCI!

Seventh and eighth graders started their first round of intersessions, and the excitement from the students is palpable on the BCI campus!  

Intersessions are a unique tenant of the middle school program at BCS -  regular instruction (with the exception of math) is suspended for three weeks, allowing students and staff to take a deep dive into a particular area of study.  

Students participate in three 3-week intersessions during the year, designed to engage students and maximize their learning in a real world environment.
Students plant bamboo at Panda Valley

Here’s a look at what the two grade levels are engaged in these next few weeks:

Seventh Grade: Engineering and Design Challenge
  • Students are tasked with solving a real world problems ranging from how to stop the crows from digging through trash cans near the lunch tables at BCI to designing a landing pod and lunar buggy for space exploration

  • Seventh graders are using the FabLab@BCS and guidance from our FabLab Director David Malpica and FabLab Assistant Nafiisah Renshaw to design, prototype, test and finalize their models


Seventh Grade: Cooking/Woodworking/Sewing
  • Students rotate through three workshop style classes in cooking, woodworking, and sewing,  throughout the day. These classes are led by experts in their respective fields

  • All students complete a finished product by the end of the intersession in each class, and students use these skills again at the end of the year when they put on a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which students are responsible for creating everything including the set design (woodworking) and costumes (sewing), and and refreshments (cooking)

Eighth Grade: Civic Responsibility, Animal Enrichment, Organic Gardening
  • Students began by participating in a design thinking challenge to create animal enrichment devices for moon bears - an endangered species in China that are often inhumanely treated and hunted for their body parts

  • Students traveling to China will take these designs to Animals Asia moon bear sanctuary and work with Animals Asia staff to implement them. Students will record the results and use their experiences to increase awareness about moon bears upon their return. They will work collaboratively with the students who studied animal enrichment at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose.

  • Students also engaged in learning about organic gardening and sustainable agriculture practices by meeting with various groups in the community, and also taught BCS second graders about organic gardening

  • Students will regenerate the BCI garden with donations from Orchard Supply Hardware to be able to grow organic food to donate to Mountain View CSA
Eighth graders teach BCS second graders about organic gardening