The QUEST Center in Foster Hall was buzzing with excitement this week as students worked on a range of projects ideal for this creative space.
Like a scene from “Project Runway,” sixth and seventh graders made clothing in the Middle School Design Studio. While the stitching, knitting, taping and bedazzling may seem like something out of an art class, it was actually a vocabulary assignment for Spanish class. As students created everything from shoes and scarves to shirts and face coverings, they learned the Spanish words for each piece.
While the lesson was fun and engaging, there was much more taking place than students realized. Spanish teacher Jennifer Snyder, who loves to sew when she’s not teaching, says the experience helps students learn about the challenges involved with making clothing and the time and effort required. Students also learned about ethics in fashion and which cultures traditionally create their own clothing.
Next week, Middle School students will host a fashion show for Lower School students in the Great Hall. Each group of older students will have a model who will present the clothing and a moderator who will share the Spanish terms with the audience. It’s sure to be a runway to remember!
Once upon a time in the Early Elementary Design Studio, Episcopal first graders learned about story elements, including characters, settings, problems and solutions. As part of the current project-based learning unit titled “Enchanted Engineering,” students were given the names of popular characters and story settings and asked to create their own tales. Students stood before their classmates and told stories of what happens when the Big Bad Wolf meets Cruella de Vil or what it’s like when Little Red Riding Hood travels to the Land of Oz.
Afterward, the young storytellers used Legos to build a scene inspired by their stories. Soon, they will build larger scenes and even use programmable robots to move the “good guy” and the “bad guy” through the setting. “Enchanted Engineering” is always popular among Lower School students. This year’s QUEST Center setting is taking the enchantment to new heights.
Sixth graders tested their engineering and budget management skills in the annual earthquake design challenge. Students had to design a structure to withstand the shaking and quaking of tectonic forces. They also had to manage their materials budget and “purchase” supplies from science teacher Stacy Hill. Before the first straws were ever taped together, students spent considerable time planning, researching and developing their ideas. Once the structures are complete, students will test their creations on a shake table. We can’t wait to see the completed project!
On a 70-degree Louisiana winter day, Episcopal second graders imagined what life is like at the frigid north and south poles. Students learned about what animals need to thrive in these climates, including blubber. Students participated in a hands-on experience in Kitchen Chemistry, aka the “Blubber Lab,” to really get a feel for it.
QUEST Center Coordinator Dr. Elizabeth Lewis presented students with bowls of icy water to simulate what creatures in these regions experience. Students dunked their hands in the water and timed how long they could withstand the chill. Surprisingly, a few of the students were able to keep their hands in the water for 69 seconds. Afterward, Dr. Lewis gave students a “blubber glove” made from layers of plastic bags filled with Crisco and an empty bag to protect little hands from the greasy substance. Students placed their hands inside the glove and again plunged them into the ice water. They were excited to report their findings. “I could do this all day long!” “It wasn’t cold at all!” The experience is sure to make a lasting impression on these little Knights.
The QUEST Center in Foster Hall is the perfect space for new learning experiences and a great place to reimagine tried-and-true favorites. To learn more, click here.