As you may know, before winter break of each year, PLP holds a big exhibition. In the exhibition, we show off our latest projects in display rooms all over the school. This year, everyone’s projects for the exhibition were linked to Star Wars, as the new movie was coming out the day after the exhibition. More on the exhibition later, but let’s get into what our units in humanities and maker were actually about.
For Humanities, our focus was on telling stories, and all the aspects that go into that such as the heroes journey, and the definitions of words that have to relate to stories, like point of view. In the end, our groups had to make their own stories about an outspoken Star Wars character from the planet that our group was focused on. In my group for this project was Felix, Angelo, Julia, Kaden, Meg, and Ciara.
Our first milestone of the project was to write a paragraph about why Star Wars is so popular. This was a good activity to get our brains going and make us really think about the factors that affect people’s thoughts on certain things. The goal of this was to represent the competencies of expressing and supporting opinion, and using evidence. I think I did alright on this but could have done better.
The next aspect and milestone of the project was about short stories. We read quite a few short stories, about Star Wars along with other things. At the same time as reading these, we learned about all sorts of story concepts like theme and mood. We then had to fill out a box for each concept, for each story. This was an interesting activity and I learned a lot about new terms. The competency for this was “literary identification and analysis”. I think I represented this fairly well as I was able to complete my summaries of different aspects of each story, and being able to remember the identifiable quotes for the test about the stories.
The third milestone was about the final story. We had to choose what character our group was doing and then figure out our storyline. This came fairly easy for my group and we had minimal conflict. Our chosen character was Han Solo’s tauntaun from the movie “the empire strikes back”. The competency for this was “Creating and expending shared understanding”. I think that my group being able to work so well to together and create a story that flows through each part represented this well. Here is the chart of our story.
The next milestone of this side of the project was to write a movie review about one Star Wars movie. We learned a bit about how to write a review and then it was time to make my review. I chose to make my review about the same movie as my story’s character was from (“The empire strikes back”). When writing my review, I tried not to be too critical of the dated special effects of the movie, and tried to make my review seem like it was based now but also sort of when the movie first came out. This was interesting and I learned quite a bit about how different magazines and other forms of media review movies. The competency for this was “expressing and supporting opinions”, like I’m milestone one. I think that I was fairly good at expressing my opinion in it but didn’t use too much evidence because of a work limit.
The fifth milestone of this project was the short story section we had to write for our group’s story. I was part three of the story. My part focuses on the training of Han’s tauntaun. I tried to make the story from a real different perspective that showed a potential dark side of animal abuse in the rebel alliance. I think I was able to make a fairly interesting and strong story that showed what I wanted it to quite well. I think I learned quite a bit from this milestone about formatting, and just how it feels to just have the ability to write a story however you want. The first of the competencies for this milestone was “creating and expending a shared understanding”, which I think is represented by none of my group member’s stories having major conflicting parts. The second competency was “literary identification and analysis”, which I think Is represented by how I wrote my story to use different elements we learned about in our short story milestone. The think competency for this part of the project was “the writing process, which I think I represented with how I turned my assignment for being part three of the story, into an action packed story in itself that doesn’t need the other parts to make sense.
The sixth Milestone of the project was designing how our presentations would looks, which I’ll talk more about when I talk about setting up the room.
Now for the Maker aspect of the exhibition. This project, was all about building objects that represent our story parts, using the LAUNCH cycle. The LAUNCH cycle, is a sort of process, where you go step by step to create your final product. We also had to make a journal on the app explain everything to note what we did for each section.
The milestones for this project were different forms and other media to represent the L, A, U, N, C and H phases of the project.
The L phase was called “look, listen and learn”. What we did in this phase was a how might we form, where we had to create our own driving question for our project. I think that this was good because when we create our own driving questions, it gives us more creative freedom to do what we want.
For the A phase, we had to make a pitch form for our project idea and include some elements of it and challenges. This is where I went into more detail on what my idea for my object actually would be. I decided that my project would be a tauntaun training kit that was used for Han’s tauntaun.
The U phase milestone was just to export what we had on our LAUNCH journal so far.
N was the last phase before we created a prototype of our project. In this phase, we were supposed to make a mini video of our idea making process. For my video, I just included all of my ideas for potential objects in my training kit. This was pretty good but could have been better with a voice over.
C was the create phase, where we had to make our first prototypes, and fill in a form about how we would revise them. By that time, I was well on my way to creating a model of binoculars from Star Wars for my training kit.
H was the last phase, and it was called “highlight and fix”. For this stage, we just had to give examples of how we had improved on our object that far into the project. I showed how i had revised my 3d designed binocular models.
Here is a completed video of my LAUNCH journal.
Once all of this work was done, it was time to prepare and set up our rooms for the big presentation. Since my group, was focused on Hoth, we had the idea to make our room look like it was snowy, and also make the room quite cold. To make it look snowy, we took down all posters and everything else that wasn’t white that we could, and put paper snowflakes up. To make the room cold, we opened all of the windows, and brought fans. We then bought ice to put behind the fans to make the air coming out even colder. We also darkened the room and used one spotlight to get light so we could have a visibility slightly more like a blizzard. Another interesting thing we added to our room, was a simulated cave, where you could watch the battle of Hoth on loop. We make this cave by hanging up sheets and paper to block off an area, and pouring packing peanuts on the ground. We also added some extra fans in the cave to make it extra cold. All of this worked very well and we had people telling us how well we cooked the room and simulated Hoth. Another aspect of the room we had to focus on was food and drink. We chose to have “Wampa fur” which was white cotton candy, and decorated cookies as our food as they both could relate to our planet and we could make them fairly easily. For drinks we just had hot chocolate because it is something you would want in a cold place. The driving question for this project was “how might we build an interactive exhibit that explains the hero’s journey.”. I think that what I have said above really represents it as each part of our rooms was a part of the exhibit, that we showed the progression of our stories in.
The exhibition night went pretty well. I was able to show off my final product for my object, which I made three things for. I made the 3d printed electrobinoculars, which turned out almost perfectly, and the only problem was that the pieces were a little off centre. I also made a homemade taser out of some things I had at my house to represent the stun gun used on my group’s character in my part of my group’s story. It worked quite well and could even light matches. The third thing I did for my tauntaun training kit, was to make a little survival kit that would be useful for surviving on Hoth. This included things like a beacon, flashlight, first aid kit, lighter and more.
This exhibition was a fun experience, and it was nice to have the freedom to make what I wanted for it. I look forward to the one coming up in the spring and seeing what projects we will be doing for it.