Recently I was asked to participate in the Community Box Project, a mini-cultural study spearheaded by Wellesley High School Evolutions program students. The idea of the study was to find out about the ways community members participate in the town and how this creates a sense of culture and belonging. Evolutions, an interdisciplinary and collaborative program at Wellesley High in which teachers and students make connections across courses in Art, English, Math, Science and Social Studies, is in its second year at WHS. The idea of the interdisciplinary program is to offer students the opportunity to engage in project-based learning that is not confined to the typical bell schedule, reaching students who are excited by the possibility of exploring school in a new way and who want to have more ownership over their learning.
The students assigned to interview me did all the appropriate legwork. In fact, it was legwork that I recognized as part of my everyday blogging life — they contacted me by email, set up a time and place to meet, arrived on time, took care of housekeeping by having me sign a waiver, used two ways of recording the interview — by Smartphone Voice Memo and by old-fashioned pen-and-paper note taking — asked prepared questions yet went where the interview took them, and thanked me at the conclusion. A few weeks later I received an email inviting me to the unveiling of their project, which can be found in the front-door lobby of the main library now through Friday, November 18.
I’ll let them tell you the details about the Community Box Project:
“We have been working on this project for a couple of weeks now. It started in the end of September when we did our first interviews. We were split up into groups of two or three and were given a person to interview and a place to go. We walked into our place and got to work interviewing people about their lives and their contributions by being a part of the town of Wellesley. We did some on one day and then did some on another. Finally when all the interviews were conducted, we uploaded them to a google drive and listened to some of them in order to gain more knowledge about different people in the Wellesley community. The next thing we did was we went to the MFA and looked at different exhibits around the museum that created a sense of strong culture within their respective communities. We were able to use the information we got from the museum in order to help either the writing or designing process. Next we started working on the individual sides of our box by drafting them out on paper a couple of different times in order to get the best design. Finally when we found the best design we started to make our designs go from being on paper to being on the wood. We worked on a side at a time, writing, printing, painting, and even laser cutting, trying to complete a side per day. About a week ago, we got off of designing our own individual designs and started brainstorming the fourth side, which we would all create together. It took a couple of days, a lot of brainstorming, and starting over with ideas in order to come up with an idea that we all liked and that would be possible to complete in only a couple of days.”
There are instructions on how to view the installation using touch (be gentle!), QR CODES, and apps for both iphones and Droids.