High School Featured Work
Student organizers, Bella Wells-Fried, 10th, and Kaiya Nilsson, 9th, led Odyssey 4th-12th grade students and area schools Hangar Hall and French Broad Academy, in a march from campus to Pack Square on Friday, April 20th. There they met with students from Asheville High, Asheville Middle, and Carolina Day School to gather in a peaceful protest for gun law reform.
When presented with the request to participate in this nationwide walk out, faculty and administration guided students through this learning experience in civic engagement. Students learned how to acquire permits for protest, wrote and distributed press releases, researched legislation, researched and brainstormed messaging for protest signs, and prepared for public speaking. They also sent a representative to our faculty meeting to receive feedback about how younger students, parents, and teachers will experience this day – incorporating empathy into the design-thinking process. One student’s Independent Research Project on the history of protest music this past fall prepared him well for his contribution that day.
Odyssey’s administration and faculty also spent class and meeting time preparing students to explore their viewpoints from multiple perspectives and aimed to create a safe space for differences in values and beliefs. Students who chose not to protest worked on studying legislation that inspired them and other strategies of civic engagement in democracy.
News Coverage of Asheville’s Student Protest
During our Mini-Mester, a two week break from academic classes in which students dive into independent study and immersive collaborative projects, high school students worked in four teams to produce four unique films inspired by “The greatness of a society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members.”
Each year at Odyssey, students spend time studying a topic of their choice in an independent study.
High school students expand this study into a semester long endeavor, sometimes collaborating, sometimes working independently – always diving deep into their studies.
In the Fall Semester of 2015, students studied topics ranging between Therapeutic Video Games, Film, Futurology, The Science of Multi-Lingualism, Obstetrics, and Three Movements: Dadaism, Surrealism, and Pop Art.
Each project includes an extensive research paper, a community-wide presentation, and a creative prototype. Please enjoy the prototype below, created by senior Rachel Appleton during her study of Appalachian music.