MIT/Stanford Grad Sparks Student Passions

Mar 16, 2016 | Inquiry, Middle School News, Uncategorized

In January, Middle School launched a new club exclusively for seventh and eighth graders: The Passion Project. Whether students were interested in coding, writing poetry, STEM, video editing, world language, dance… the Passion Project provided an opportunity for students to focus on and develop their passion with external expert, coach and mentor Mikala Streeter.

Drawing upon her rich experience at both MIT and Stanford, Streeter is committed to helping students discover and refine their passions, both inside and outside of school.

For six weeks, Ms. Streeter met students after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help a group of dedicated students full of curiosity as they created blogs, produced movies, wrote novels, and decorated baked goods.

  • Eighth graders Ricardo Ruiz, Bijan Nikain, and Stephen Moseley worked on writing a script for a movie titled “Mission Somewhat Almost Possible.” They also created a trailer for their film and developed a website to showcase their work.
  • Eighth grader Catherine Shanks dedicated time to perfecting the art of decorating baked goods, primarily following the “Nerdy Nummies” cookbook. A crowd favorite was her sweet hamburger cupcakes.
  • Eighth graders Patrick Casey and James Robison developed a website combining the ideas of the MVPS pop-up spirit shop, used uniform sale, and, by creating a platform for buyers and sellers of gently-loved MVPS gear, to interact.
  • Seventh grader Tommy Carroll created a doggie daycare business and website, promising very reasonable rates for dog walking.
  • Seventh graders Taylor Harris, Abbott Wright, and Riley Hansen collaborated to created a blog for Mount Vernon students, celebrating some of our students’ initiatives and achievements, including photos and mentions of the Passion Project.
  • Seventh grader Justin Blumencranz coded a website.
  • Seventh grader Ben Burke created a stopmotion video.

As a result of the success of the program, the enthusiasm of the students and the positive feedback received from parents and faculty, a second opportunity to participate in the Passion Project will be offered from March 22 – April 28. The club will meet after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please contact Middle School Head of Learning and Innovation Katie Cain if interested.

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