Academics News

Show Your Work

Creative History Exhibition

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Scot Allen

By Laura Davis


A variety of history projects from more than two hundred 10th graders impressed friends, parents, and community members across the Mid-Pacific campus. The four collaborating history teachers designed different projects with a shared goal: provide an authentic audience for student work.

Click here to view the photo gallery.

"If an artist only made art for themselves or for one person their wouldn't be much to it right? But when you create for an outside audience it makes you want to do more [because] the work matters. It's more real-world," said Dr. Mark Hines, head of the Mid-Pacific Exploratory (MPX) department and attendee at the event. "Every student-artist here had something they really wanted to share about their work--they had a story to tell about it."

Students in Ms. Strohlin, Mr. Majchrzak, and Ms. Tanaka's classes did an iMovie project in the spirit of the popular TV show Pawn Stars. Students created artifacts from the Civil War period. They then acted as pawn shop owners debating the historical significance of their items while haggling over the price. "Parents and teachers were invited and we had a fairly large turn out," said Ms. Tanaka. "The assessments and comments were all positive and said they were impressed with the student's technology ability and their ability to articulate their answers."

Down in the newly remodeled Wood Hall, students in MPX humanities tackled the essential question: why are some social movements successful (like the legalization of gay marriage) while others (like slowing global climate change) are not? The students worked in teams to write social movement theories that answer this question and then created large silhouettes to visually explain their theories.

Sophomore Liam Riley said the project taught him "about social movements and how they rise up from the ashes. I didn't really know there was a scientific aspect of studying human behavior, so that was really nice to learn." For his classmate Cole Jamila the joy was simple: "My favorite part of this project was making the art," he said.

School administrators attended the exhibition in support of the students. "I think that anything that allows the students to be creative is a good thing because then they personalize the knowledge," said Assistant principal Dr. Gareth Russell. "They will remember this project for years to come. Whereas, if there wasn't that creativity, I'm not sure how much they would remember about the Emancipation [Proclamation] for example."

Want to attend the next school exhibition? Check the school calendar for upcoming events!

Click here to view a student video about the project.