The Exp Summer Daily

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The Experimentory Blog

Our year-round blog describes our program, values, and plans for next year.

The Exp Summer Daily

Our summer news consists of daily updates while we're in session -- giving a window into past years.

Something New: Student Publications

Jul 17, 2019 1:13:22 PM

Student Publications started in a staff brainstorm. If we want to grow in our creativity (and we at Exp definitely do!) trying something new can be a good starting point.  So we asked: how might we try to tap into our students' interest in writing and publication during co-curricular time? A yearbook club? A newspaper? Contributions to this blog? We decided to give the group loose parameters: create something that captures a story about Experimentory Session 1. I'm glad we did: the students have been thriving in that open-ended freedom.

When I visited Student Publications in their corner of the Library, they were dividing into project groups. The largest, which included Leila, Ningning, Fiona, and Leah, were taking a journalistic approach. "We're going to write about our weekend activities," they explained. Tentatively they thought two would report on one field trip and two on the other.

Students smile during a brainstorm session Young journalists reporting

Fiona and Isabel making their plans...

...and then getting to work.

Some groups were bringing past experience to bear on this project. Marcus Y and Ginny were making slideshows about their personal Experimentory stories. Marcus was working on visuals when I pulled up a chair. "There I am!" He was pointing at a picture on our Flickr account. "See, that's my shoe." He pointed at the screen and then at the sneaker currently on his foot. It was indeed a match... but the shot was an out-of-focus photo of his back with another student as the subject. "Hmmm. I hope I can find a better one than that," he decided. Soon he had and he was arranging it on a slide. "I went with a green background because of Deerfield," he explained. The picture was cropped into a leaf shape -- perhaps because of the arboreal ropes course setting. It looked good!

7th grade student edits a slide Students collaborating on a project

Marcus arranges his first slides on Monday.

  Ginny checks out Marcus' progress on Tuesday.

Other students were venturing into new territory. Bruce F had told me earlier that he'd been a sports editor for his school's yearbook this past term. Now, however, he and Alex H were planning on interviewing friends at night in the dorm about their experience. 

Annisa was also going to conduct interviews. I helped her consider the focus of her interviews and brainstorm questions for a bit. Then she conducted a practice interview with Martha, the Assistant leading the co-curricular, and then used that experience to refine her question list.

Finally, some students were taking a much more artistic approach. Arielsie was bringing an existing passion to the table. "I'm going to make a comic!"

"Will it be funny," I asked, "or more action-adventure? And how long?"

"I think funny. And it will probably be about four pages." I was impressed! 

"She just wants to draw pictures of herself as a pig!" Linda chimed in. Linda was working on a poem next to her friend.

"...Is there anything wrong with that?" Arielsie laughed. "It will be about the Experimentory," she said to me. "Only everyone will be a pig." She smiled broadly.

A Cartoonist at Work

Arielsie (not yet drawn as a pig), our resident cartoonist.

I am excited to see how all these projects come together this week: which follow their initial vision, which transform, which take a published paper form and which are digital. You'll notice I haven't included any pictures of the work itself here. I hate spoilers! You'll have to tune in later this week to learn more. 

Tim Schaffer



The Exp Summer Daily provides news and updates while we are in session in July and August. The rest of the year, check out the Experimentory Blog for posts feature our students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and plans for the coming year.