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Stories from Sea Crest School

The official blog of Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay, California.

— In the News: Challenge within a chair’s construction

The Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our seventh graders’ project in the Innovation Lab: Challenge within a chair’s construction: Educator looks at everyday objects in a different way. They prototyped four chairs out limited materials as part of their Explorations and the results were remarkable.

Sea Crest School students were recently challenged to think outside the box — outside the cardboard box, to be exact.

As part of a semester-long exploration class, aspiring makers were required to enhance an old office chair using nothing more than masking tape, cardboard and hot glue.

The lesson took place in the Innovation Lab, a maker-space where tinkering is not only encouraged, it is expected.

“During the summer, I saw a lot of old chairs in the hallway that were going to be thrown out,” said Patrick Neary, Innovation Lab manager at Sea Crest School. “There was a lot of cardboard that was also going to be thrown out. I thought maybe there was a way to upcycle both slightly and see what we could do with them.

“It occurred to me that the curved, rotating chair was a common thing, almost in contrast with these big square boxes,” he continued. “One of the things that I was concerned with was challenging the kids about their basic assumptions about things.”

Before the course, most students would look at the chair and disregard it as a utilitarian object. After completing the project, it was clear that the students would no longer take the art of sitting for granted.

Innovation Lab Chair“To get started, the kids had to think about how does this chair come about?” said Neary. “Once they re-examined this common object, they could start to reinvent it.”

Part of that process included deconstructing a few samples in order to gain a clear understanding of how the chair worked.

Innovation Lab Chair“Some of the students used power tools, like drills, to pull out the screws,” said Neary. “The students then had to figure out how many screws were used and why.”

Once the kids understood how the chair worked, they were challenged to improve upon the design. Neary created four teams. Students drew lots to determine who was in each group.

“It was random,” said Neary. “Some students liked the partners they were grouped with, others had never really talked before as partners.”

The newly created groups started sketching out their ideas as they began working to build a better chair.

Once the drawing was complete, the makers-in-the-making moved into the physical world of construction.

“The students experienced obstacles of different viewpoints and agendas that required that the students collaborate, negotiate and corporate,” said Neary.

The students worked hard on their final designs, pieces of cardboard that were held together with nothing more than masking tape and hot glue.

The groups then presented their projects to a panel of judges that assessed the projects on the basis of collaboration, the mindful use of the materials, the overall design aesthetic, and the cleanliness of the final construction.

There was also one more catch, the completed prototype had to support the weight of the intended user, whether a student or an adult.

The results were stunning to say the least. One group opted for a minimalistic design going heavy on the masking tape. The end product was a sleek chair sure to hold up under the average adult. Others were more creative, adding butterfly wings, cup holders, and slots for books.

 

— Kindergarten turkey tango (video)

We are thankful for our wonderful community, students, teachers and families — Happy Thanksgiving!


 

— Outdoor Ed (video)

What a week — Thanks to all who made it possible!


 

— Service Learning

By Wendy Connolly, Seventh & Eighth Grade History Teacher

Service learning is an important component to the eighth-grade History curriculum. The theme this year is Hunger and Poverty. Students started out learning about causes of hunger, Federal poverty lines, state poverty lines and how that compares globally.

Eighth graders did their first service at the San Francisco Food Bank where they learned about the issues of food insecurities in San Francisco and how food banks help. Each year the food bank distributes over 48 million pounds of food to over 225,000 people in San Francisco and Marin. Our students worked for four hours separating oranges. In the end, we boxed 25,000 pounds of citrus. It was a wonderful feeling and we all had fun doing it. If you are interested in working at the San Francisco Food Bank, go to their website. Families with children as young as 5 can volunteer.

Coastside-HopeThe eighth graders are currently working on Coastside Hope, Adopt a Family program. This year Sea Crest is adopting 10 families that are in need of clothes, toys and household items for this upcoming holiday season. Each eighth grader is connected with a grade level class and an adopted family from the coastside. Students are responsible for setting up all the items being asked for, meeting with teachers and classes to explain the program and organizing the items to be taken to Coastside Hope.

Each year it is wonderful to see the generosity and support of Sea Crest families for this local, charitable program!

 


 

— Spooky Stories

Our second graders had a lot of fun reading their suspenseful Spooky Stories at their publishing party. They gathered in small groups to read their original stories to an audience of their peers and parents and were very proud to share the fruits of their labor. They even kept their spooky stories for a while longer so they could read them to the first graders.

Spooky Stories Second Grade

Spooky Stories Second Grade

Spooky Stories Second Grade

Spooky Stories Second Grade

Spooky Stories Second Grade Parents Second Grade Breakfast

Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend our Spooky Story Breakfast!

 


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