End of Session 4 and Looking Forward to Session 5

The last two weeks of Session 4 saw many examples of Eagles finishing strong!


During Weeks 4 and 5, Eagles had the opportunity to hear from two experts in the architecture world. The first was Brittany Taylor, an Ascent Parent. She is passionate about landscape architecture and shared her Hero’s Journey story with our heroes before they began the process of designing the exterior of their “dream Acton Academy building.” She shared about her love for the environment and the many ways to help animal and plant life by designing appropriately. In Week 5, heroes were working diligently to finish their 3D models when Architect, Mr. Kevin Gallaugher from Dick Clark + Associates, came to share his Hero’s Journey story along with his expertise! He brought designs with him and demonstrated taking an idea through the design process to completion. After his story, Mr. Gallaugher stayed to advise each team of architects. It was a powerful learning experience for all.

In preparation for the Exhibition, many Eagles opted to stay after school during our “After-Hours Architecture Office.” With intense focus, many designs were finished and then taken to a new level of excellence.

The Architecture portion of the Session 4 Exhibition included all of the work on display: sketches, blueprints, scale challenges, and the final 3D models for each group. Two architects joined us for this experience as judges for the Exhibition, Mr. Gallaugher (who was excited to see the end results!) and Mr. Brien Strelau from the Michael Hsu
Office of Architecture. The architects kindly and carefully judged the work, deciding on the winners of two pre-established categories (Eagles were aware of these and working toward them all session); Most Innovative and Most Likely To Be Built. After the Exhibition, one of our guests shared his insightful feedback that included:

  • Very dramatic tall space, with an exciting adventure to walk up the stairs.  Excitement and adventure are great things for a school!
  • Great model, and great attention to landscape.  It’s very nice that people walk past the trees to get into the building, and have a river to enjoy.   It shows you care a lot about the outside environment.
  • Very thorough and well thought out design, with great mix of fun with the bubble domes, and nice use of materials in your model.
  • I love the ball stuck in the tree!  Shows you’re being very realistic and having fun, too.  Very nice rough sketch of the front of the school – it’s important to be loose and free and a little messy sometimes to get ideas out.

Writers’ Workshop

To wrap up Creative Instructions, Eagles were busy these past few weeks play testing each other’s instructions and adding thoughtful details where needed. Through the many smoothies, bracelets, and drawings came much clarity and intention. At the Exhibition, final instructions were on display in the “Test Kitchen” for guests to test and give feedback to the instructions for our studio blog (to be published next week!), Home Activities for Independent Learners.

Field Program

Throughout the session, many Eagles pushed themselves to work hard on their Field Badges for this session: Rock Climbing and First Aid! Challenges throughout the session included building a personal First Aid kit, learning to tie new knots, finger-strengthening exercises, and push-ups! On their Expedition Field Day, Eagles participated in a First Aid Class at the Oak Springs Fire Department, and then demonstrated their skills in tending to wounds. Using fake blood and real gauze, the Eagles paired up to tend to their patients. After the First Aid Class, they traveled to Crux Climbing gym to try their climbing skills on some tough routes! They “sent” them, alright, and we have the pictures to prove it! The most powerful part of the day? Eagles in climbing teams cheering each other on and respecting each team member’s personal limits.

Looking Forward: 

On Tuesday, Session 5 was launched with a discussion about adventure. After watching a clip from The Hobbit, Eagles were asked:

“What would you absolutely bring with you if you thought you would be leaving on an adventure, not knowing when or if you would return?”

“What would you absolutely want from your fellow travelers, if you were joining a group of adventurers, a fellowship, for the first time?”

This session, the Discovery Eagles are going on a lot of adventures together! They’re traveling back in time to Rome and the Americas in Civilization (and many other exciting places), they’re traveling to the deepest depths of the ocean in Quest, and they’re traveling off campus to address the litter problem in Austin! Finally, at the end of the session, we’ll go on an overnight adventure to the beach! Here’s to new adventures!