Upper school teachers reflect on their innovative and exciting Interim Term classes.
Though this year’s Interim Term looked different than it has in year’s past, SBS teachers and students rose to the challenge and set out to learn, explore and expand their minds to make the one week Interim Term one to remember. We sat down with several of our upper school teachers to ask them about the class they taught, and how it was received by their students.
Faith Under the Microscope
Heather Aleman and Nathan Nease facilitated the class “Faith Under the Microscope.” During the course of the class, they explored how faith and science coincide. Specifically, they focused on areas of physical and biological science to unpack how science actually reveals the existence of God. At the end of the week, the students produced an original radio commentary using an area of science to prove the existence of God. According to Mrs. Aleman, “It was exhilarating watching students take ownership of their beliefs and use science as evidence.”
Mr. Nease explained the radio project further saying, “The final project had each student broadcast their own commentary on the week's topic over an FM radio station. The students not broadcasting were down the hall in a different classroom listening over a radio tuned into the right frequency. The students' parents were invited to come park in the parking lot and tune in to SBS Radio live on 89.9 FM. Each student was prepared and broadcast their commentary like a pro.” When asked how students enjoyed the class, Mr. Nease excitedly replied, “The students often responded to the material even more thoughtfully than I initially anticipated. They shared their opinions, stated points to help advance their point and talked to each other with respect.”
Buffalo Bayou Clean-Up
The main goal of this class was to collect litter from the waterways of the Buffalo Bayou so it would not make its way to the Gulf of Mexico. This class, led by Laura Towne and Brad Lane, was originally created by Geoff Brooks and has been around for several years. According to Mrs.Towne, “Some students were surprised about how muddy, dirty and wet the Bayou was, and the strength needed to paddle through it!” Mrs. Towne especially enjoyed the journey the clean-up took her students on. “I enjoyed seeing students’ attitudes transform; they fussed at the beginning of the expedition, and by the end, they were marveling at nature!”
The ever popular television show, Shark Tank, made its way to SBS for Interim Term this year. The class, hosted by Geanna Manners and Aaron Randolph, sought to teach students about business, entrepreneurship, hard work and creativity. According to Mrs. Manners, “Students were asked to identify a need, create a product or service to meet that need and pitch their idea to a panel of sharks.” She went on to say, “We really wanted the students to think creatively and be innovative, all while having a greater purpose in mind for their idea.” The students especially thrived as they created a product to launch. Every group went through several prototypes to arrive at their final product to present. According to Mrs. Manners, “My favorite part was observing the product development process and defending their pitches and ideas to the sharks!” Some of these products included a self-watering planter, a hot wheels style boat racing track and a bladeless citrus peeler.
We are grateful for faculty and students who due to unusual circumstances were more in the classroom than usual for this year’s Interim Term, but certainly made the most of it. Our teachers found innovative ways to engage students, while our students went above and beyond what was expected of them to make the week one full of learning, innovation and growth. Be on the lookout for more coverage of Interim Term 2021 in the coming weeks!