SAVY 2019: Session 4, Day 3 – Unpacking the Magic of Harry Potter (Sarah B.) (Rising 5th/6th)
Happy Wednesday, SAVY parents!
We have had another wonderful day here in the Potter-verse. These students continue to impress us with their insights, their enthusiasm, their creativity (ask them about their theme park ride design!), and their willingness to engage with the ideas of others.
Today, we started out with a brief icebreaker where students had to act out their (or a character’s patronus). After this short theatrical interlude, we dove into the commercialization of the Harry Potter franchise, which is worth a staggering $25+ billion dollars! Using videos and newspaper articles, we came up with a list of ways that HP has been monetized, and we came up with conjectures about why HP has become such a commercial success. Details like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans both make the world in the novels rich and interesting, and also provide opportunities for retailers to sell rotten-egg flavored jellybeans to willing customers. We then learned/talked about designing theme park rides and about Harry Potter World in preparation for designing a new ride. After that, students had the opportunity to share their feedback on the course–so we can adjust if needed–at our halfway point during the week by completing a survey.
After another session of quidditch and lunch, we reconvened to finish up designing our Harry Potter theme park rides and finalize research plans. We went over how to conduct interviews with participants, and practiced interviewing before beginning to collect data. A class of juniors and seniors from the VSA program volunteered to serve as our interviewees, and the students did a tremendous job interviewing them! After they finished interviewing, the VSA class stuck around to be our guest panel of “theme park executives” who would judge the students’ 2-minute pitches for their rides (on the basis of their thematic connections to HP and on their commercial appeal/viability). The highlight of the afternoon was interacting with these older HP fans and learning from them.
After that excitement, we would down with a journaling session reflecting on how the interviewing went, and finished with a brief round of HP trivia.
It has truly been a pleasure to learn with your wonderful HP scholars! Looking forward to another jam-packed day tomorrow.