As Eagle Rock School kicks off its 76th trimester this month (fondly referred to here on campus as ER 76), our progressive and engaging class offerings are once again taking center stage, with the first batch described below. Classes start on Monday for most students, with the noticeable exception of new students, who head out on their introductory three-week wilderness orientation course the first day of October.
For everyone else, class offerings this trimester range from a class called Fiberlicious, which has little to do with fiber as a foodstuff and more to do about employing fiber items as legitimate artwork. In addition, there is a class called Winning the Votethat explores collecting data, analyzing polls, and making predictions on electoral outcomes.
Without further ado, we offer a partial listing of classes that begin Monday. Unless otherwise noted, each class runs for five weeks:
(Eagle) Rock the Vote: School elections don’t always get the heart pounding, with many students shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Who cares?” Or maybe, they don’t think their vote matters. Or maybe, they’re still too young to vote in a “real” election. This five-week class has students organizing school-wide political campaigns, participating in election rallies, and meeting people from a wide spectrum of political beliefs. In addition, students will learn about our nation’s voting history and electoral process and the history and voting processes of other democracies across the globe.
Fiberlicious: Fiber art techniques are not limited to weaving, felting, batik work, silk painting, sewing and up-cycling clothing. In this 10-week course, students are learning how to embellish wearable art with ribbons, buttons and beads. Each student in this class must research a period of time and fashion to create a story board for a presentation to share with class. And students will present their wearable fiber arts during a fashion week on the last week of class — offering each a chance to express their voices as fiber artists — both in written form and a visual presentation. In addition, students will dive deep into the economic, historic, and cultural aspects of the fashion industry.
Winning the Vote: Fifty-six percent of people like red meat. Seventy-three percent wear pink. And, of course, 50 percent of all statistics are made up. We are bombarded daily with data telling us the opinions of our fellow community members and citizens. Each election cycle we receive a flurry of numbers that predict the outcome of U.S. elections. In 2016, those numbers were shockingly wrong. In other years, the outcome matched the projections. This class focuses on the upcoming midterm elections for members of the U.S. Congress. Students enrolled in this class will learn about collecting data, analyzing polls, and making predictions on the outcomes. Students will collect data at Eagle Rock, and explore the many factors that affect voter turnout across the nation. The objectives for this class are tied to students gaining knowledge and skills in creating and implementing opinion polls, spreadsheets, analyzing data, graphing, and drawing conclusions about popular opinion.
River Watch: In this class, students are exploring nearby rivers and the health of those waterways — all the while engaging in the art of fly-fishing. By collecting water samples and macroinvertebrates (bugs) within the Big Thompson River, students have the opportunity to analyze these samples in order to measure the health of this river. Findings will be used by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Big Thompson Watershed Forum to develop and maintain water quality standards.
March— Leadership in the Civil Rights Movement: March is a graphic novel that tells the story of John Lewis, one of the “Big Six” of the 1950s/1960s civil rights movement and a U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. Students are going to learn about Lewis from his childhood all the way up to the historic march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Alabama in March of 1965. This class is set to examine the different approaches used by various organizations to bring about change throughout the 1950s and 60s and how their leaders rallied others and implemented these changes. Students will weigh the different approaches to leadership during this era, compare them to current models of expressing resistance, and think about how they might be implemented to improve our own communities.
You Are What You Eat: By examining exactly what it is we are consuming, we learn how foods impact our daily and long-term health. Students in this class will be tracking their own food choices, discovering how those choices affect their bodies, and then making predictions about future health based on those choices.
Music Theory and Composition: As a core to understanding and communicating, music theory is a fundamental technical tool for anyone who is interested in reading and writing in the language of music. Students are learning about and applying theory concepts, including music notation, clefs, rhythm, meter, intervals, aural skills, and more. They will be given the tools necessary to compose their own music and will be able to apply that knowledge to all musical instruments, as well as singing.
Feeling Lucky: If the casino always wins, why do people gamble? Why are more and more states legalizing gambling? Is there a best way to play casino games? What is gambling addiction? Students participating in this unique class are examining the mathematics of gambling as well as considering the implications for individuals and communities who participate in or authorize legal gamming. Students will also learn how to use gambling to make calculated decisions. And the class will pursue the social impacts of gambling, discuss real life decisions, and create casino-style games to be featured during a casino night for the Eagle Rock community.