This week, students in Grade 8 focused on two projects, each relating back to the broad idea that our perspectives are shaped by our locations in place and time.

Mr. Perry led a Service as Action project in which students identified and mapped all of the plant species on campus, a huge undertaking which will later allow us to have signs professionally made and installed, turning our school grounds into a proper botanical garden. In order to be successful, students needed to use some scientific knowledge as well as their prior experience making maps in Individuals and Societies. Collaboration was also key when working in small groups.

Ms. Baier and Ms. Rehil asked students to look at Oman’s culture with an exploration of Islamic geometry, specifically focusing on examples of art found in mosques in Oman. Students eventually produced their own designs using media of their choice. These artworks were combined into an installation communicating peace and respect. Some students used a compass and ruler to construct their patterns from imagination, while others followed elaborate tutorials on how to make Moroccan motifs and twelve-pointed stars. Still others tried their hand at making an arabesque, or swirling vine pattern.

To deepen their connection to math while still having fun, Ms. Baier took students in groups through an escape room that she had designed herself. The puzzles made use of ciphers, equations, and other number problems, and every group had 25 minutes in which to try to complete them.

Finally, when not busy with math, biology, or art, the group enjoyed a number of fun and Covid-safe games. These included a tabletop coin football tournament, apple stacking, Dizzy Lizzy, and several games of football and volleyball played outdoors. Each day before lunch, students also participated in a school-wide walkathon to benefit a charity for orphans here in Oman. It was an engaging experience, and everyone was able to bond and share in some great memories while also learning.