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From AI to Set-Building, Grade 10 Students Pursue Passion Projects

From AI to Set-Building, Grade 10 Students Pursue Passion Projects

Scheck Hillel’s Grade 10 Thesis Expo, the annual showcase of student-developed innovations, illustrated once again how passion and curiosity can ignite learning in unique ways.

The thesis is a required independent study course which gives students the opportunity to select a topic of interest and explore it deeply throughout the school year. The value of an independent project lies in a student’s ability to determine the scope of a project, manage time by establishing key milestones, and demonstrating accountability. Students also identify the core Jewish value within their project. Faculty mentor Cristina Florez supports students from start to finish.

Here are a few examples of student projects:

Wiixii + Math = Joyful Learning
Maia W. combined her love of sports and math to produce an engaging, play-based set of online math lessons on Wiixii, a platform dedicated to facilitating access to education to the underserved in Latin America. After speaking with the founder, Maia applied her own creativity to upload hands-on lessons that bring math to life through sports. Her hypothesis was that students would be more likely to learn if they were having fun. The photos tell the story!

If you want to learn more about a TV series before committing to all those episodes, Joel S. has a solution. He built CineSpectra, a digital and AI platform "...for film lovers by film lovers." Users can share their love of TV shows, add their critiques, and co-create a library of titles. Using AI, Joel gathers information about each show and checks it against his own viewing experience. His ultimate goal, though, is "...to provide a space that can spark meaningful conversations and common ground."  Learn more at cinespectra.net

Set Design
Nathan S. is passionate about all things theatre. He was looking to try something he hadn't pursued before as a veteran of the Judith Lindenfeld Stage in the Jordan Alexander Ressler Performing Arts Theatre at Scheck Hillel. When set design came to mind, he began to sketch his ideas for the set of Cats, the upcoming Scheck Hillel musical performance. The process of designing and building took skill, patience, imagination and teamwork: his advisors, Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Baldwin, consulted every step of the way. 
"After many final touches, the set was complete, the kids performed, and it was time to take it all down," Nathan concluded. Take a look at the photos in this story for a view of the set.
Online Teaching 
Debora T. was hoping to teach English virtually to needy children in Colombia as a way to give back to her city of birth, Cali. So she connected with a nonprofit that provides after-school programs and asked to volunteer. She was not prepared for the approval process that ensued! Debora was asked to demonstrate her understanding of teaching styles, classroom management, and lesson plans, a task that led her to research and build a 10-lesson course for 20 children. The program's rigor led her to a greater appreciation for what it takes to be a teacher!