While project week this year didn’t have students jetting across the globe, eating exotic foods while riding camels, or deep-sea diving in tropical reefs, New Hampton School students and staff dreamed up some interesting projects that introduced unique challenges and allowed students to explore a world outside of the classroom. The complete Project Week Guide offered over 30 different areas of exploration, and here we’ve highlighted three of this year’s projects!
Uganda: Education, History, and Culture
The Uganda project is the first two-year project in New Hampton School’s history. Centered on a relationship with a school called the Clover School in Kampala, Uganda, New Hampton Students were able to Zoom with students and teachers from Uganda to gain a better understanding of the educational landscape and the challenges in Uganda’s education system. Building on the relationships they forged on these Zoom calls, they made friendship bracelets and wrote pen pal letters to send over to their new friends. The students also launched a fundraising campaign to benefit the Clover Center which raised over $3700 during Project Week. They were introduced to Ugandan culture through preparing Ugandan food and exploring the traditional Batik painting technique. Students also had the opportunity to Zoom with Colby College professor, Laura Seay who provided some information on the Ugandan political landscape which helped stitch together all of the information they had learned from their Ugandan peers and build a holistic view of the challenges facing Ugandan education. Because students weren’t able to travel due to the pandemic, this year was used to lay the groundwork for a visit to the Clover School during Project Week 2022. Most if not all of the students that participated in this year’s project are excited to meet their new friends in person next year.
Shakespeare in the ARC
Students in this project were challenged to create a play in one week. They were introduced to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the Master Classroom on Monday, and by Friday had to perform for an audience of peers. Throughout the week, they made decisions on costumes, sets, and lighting. They opted for a pull-down projector backdrop—due to obvious timing constraints—displaying well-chosen background images based on the scene and brought it to life using some props sparingly. The cast decided which elements were absolutely vital to the production in order to tell the story, and which they could do without. In the end, the play was an entertaining success.
The Children’s Literature project started with a trip to the Gordon Nash Library’s children section where students explored the titles available and assessed what made an engaging book for little ones. Should it rhyme? Have pictures? Which illustration style is most enticing to little brains? They studied process and idea development that would ultimately lead to their very own book creations! Each of the students utilized their strengths in drawing and writing and opening up new levels of their imagination to transport kids through literature. A quick shop at Hobby Lobby provided all of the supplies needed and then they were off and running. Creating a book from start to finish was surely a new endeavor for most students, but they got the books off to the publishers within the deadline and we can’t wait to see the finished product!