Spring break is history, which means our students are back in class for the beginning of the 75th trimester since our doors opened back in the early 1990s.
Delivering on our promise of reengaging students their own education, this new trimester — ER 75 — delivers a selection of unique classroom experiences, each designed to assist every student along his or her personal life journey.
That doesn’t mean we ignore the basics, such as mathematics, critical thinking, grammar and history. But one of the things that makes Eagle Rock School special is our curriculum that aims to present classes that challenge the mind, appreciate the environment and defend the underserved.
Offerings this trimester range from a study of the inequities of our nation’s prison system to recycling the world’s trash and creating art — in a class that is appropriately called “recreARTe.”
Below is a list of the first five-week class offerings currently underway at Eagle Rock, along with a brief description of what it is our students are undertaking in this new trimester (look for a follow-up post — covering the second set of five-week classes — around the 5th of July):
All Who Dared: Students enrolled in this class are using journalism techniques to uncover and document the history of Eagle Rock as we prepare to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. Through interviews, document examination, and other research methods, the class is collecting and presenting the stories that have helped shape Eagle Rock. These are being compiled in a magazine to be distributed this summer. The class focuses heavily on writing, and we are also examining the journalism profession itself — the daily rigors that accompany being a professional journalist.
Vagina Monologues: In addition to learning how powerful women actually are and the ultimate embodiment of individuality, students in this class will be appear on stage in June, delivering monologues to an audience during a live performance. “The Vagina Monologues” features a variety of personal monologues read by a diverse group of people who identify as women. Each of the monologues deals with an aspect of the “female experience” including body image, love, sex, sex work, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, orgasm and birth. Students in this class are learning one or more of the monologues in preparation for the play. The public is invited to attend the 7pm performance on Friday, June 22, at Inkwell & Brew (150 E Elkhorn Ave.) in Estes Park.
Education & the Prison System: Students are learning the history of the Prison Industrial Complex and School to Prison Pipeline, and how they create unfair and inequitable opportunities in the United States. Participants are exploring how Eagle Rock is at the forefront in preventing the school to prison pipeline, and how our graduates can educate those in their own communities. In addition, they are understanding how an education has become a privilege rather than a right and are questioning the importance of having an education in modern society.
iCode IRL: Many jobs now rely on technology and the computer programming that is at its foundation. Students enrolled in this class are exploring various careers in the tech field, such as software engineer, website developer, data management, IT support, and many more. They are participating in field trips to tech companies and startups in nearby Boulder, Colo. Classwork focuses on the foundations of programming that cut across all programming languages. With this knowledge, students are designing and implementing a project to resolve a real-world problem, with suggestions that include robotics, web design or data mining.
Movements of Music in Latin America: Dynamic forces are currently at play in Latin America where there is great pressure for social, economic and political change. Each week in this class, students explore a different social and/or political movement in Latin America. As they identify and practice Spanish vocabulary, they also learn about the historical, cultural, and musical context that influenced each movement. In addition, they are studying various Latin American artists and their inspirations and contributions they bring to “the cause.” Each student is selecting a social/political movement and writing and performing a group piece in both Spanish and English.
Dragonfly Citizen Science: Mercury is a heavy metal and a global pollutant that threatens both humans and animals worldwide. As a citizen scientist, students in this class are involved in the Dragonfly Mercury Project — a national project by investigating the risk and transfer of mercury around food webs. Students are trekking around Rocky Mountain National Park in search of dragonfly larvae for samplings for mercury contamination research. Once collected, the samples are sent to laboratories at Dartmouth College, US Geological Survey, or the University of Maine for mercury analyses. In this class, students find themselves outdoors two or three days a week, learning to haul equipment while touching bugs, hiking to wilderness areas and learning science up close and personal.
recreARTe: Waste products created from plastic, metal, and Styrofoam take a long time to decompose. With that in mind, students enrolled in this class are learning how to creatively salvage and reuse these items. They are looking at natural and man-made materials through the recreARTe theme — create, recreate, and make art with purpose. Students are creating art out of extraordinary resources and photographing their creations, all with the idea of repurposing materials, as well as properly disposing of such waste products. A highlight of this class is a visit to New Mexico to learn about sustainable ways of living.