Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 1 – Stories and the Structure of the Universe (Rising 5th/6th)
What a great first day!
Because of the unique structure of this course, we spent some time today exploring and organizing what we know about the idea of structure and about outer space. Students were excited to share their knowledge with each other! We were able to briefly discuss competing theories about the origin of the moon, for instance, as well as competing theories about black holes. Students also investigated the idea of structure by considering an everyday object, its function, its parts, and relationships between the parts. As students shared their diagrams with each other, they developed sophisticated conceptual generalizations, such as “All the parts interlock to create an optimal condition for the user” and “Shapes of the parts make the objects work.” We will be exploring these and other generalizations about structure throughout the week.
We continued exploring the idea of structure through the art of M. C. Escher, observing ways Escher uses patterns, paradox, and infinity to create possible and impossible structured. Our analysis of the woodcut Mobius Strip II resulted not only in high-level conceptual discussion but imaginative speculation of what the art might mean. Students were thinking like science fiction writers! We took a few minutes to capture our ideas in writing. (Some of us are hoping to write science fiction stories this week!)
Next, we created our own Mobius strips and could see this strange, one-side object for ourselves. Students experimented with cutting the Mobius strip in half lengthwise and observing the surprising results! Ask your SAVY student about this activity!
We took some time to get creative, incorporating concepts like time, structure, infinity, and paradox into visual art, comic strips, and even science fiction writing. Students were excited to show their learning in a creative way, and many fascinating products resulted! We look forward to sharing this art with you at Friday’s Open House!
We then turned our attention to a famous sci-fi/fantasy story, A Wrinkle In Time, and spent the rest of the day enjoying and discussing the first chapters and getting to know the key characters. Since we know that science fiction writers like to explore big conceptual and scientific ideas like we do, we’ll be looking for ideas like these as we read!