Year 1. Session 4. Week 1.

How much time would you need to practice in order to learn how to juggle? To learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under five minutes? What about solving three Rubik’s Cubes in under five minutes WHILE juggling them?

This week, to launch Project Mastery, the Ascent Discovery Eagles discussed just how much time and practice it would take them to be able to accomplish a feat such as this. They discussed what Mastery means to them, and if anyone is capable of mastering anything. They will deeply explore the concept of mastery each week this session, with challenges each week, including one that asks them to interview someone who has mastered something. The topic of mastery and excellence will come into play throughout the session as they dive into Architecture, and instruction writing (Writers’ Workshop).

Attention to detail is highlighted throughout this session. Without correct and precise measurements, would a building be able to be constructed accurately and safely? Would an independent learner be able to replicate a hands-on home activity without clear, detailed instructions? The Eagles will be challenged in both of these arenas!

In Architecture, the Eagles dove in headfirst, honing observation skills while learning about measurement, scale, and various heroes who have pursued architecture as their life’s calling. To launch Quest each day, the Eagles participated in discussions that asked them to reflect on many important questions, including:

Is it more important for a building to be functional and efficient or to be beautiful and visually appealing?

Do buildings affect how you feel? How does our academy building make you feel? How does your home make you feel? Can you remember a time when a building made you feel sad, uncomfortable, or extremely happy?

Should the United States switch to the metric system? Why or why not?

Should buildings, like the library in Seattle that was built for, “How we consume media now,” change with us? Should architects be expected to innovate or to accommodate?

On Tuesday, this session’s Writers’ Workshop was launched! Eagle authors will be challenged to create instructions to add to a blog that will be published at the end of the session: Home Activities for Independent Learners. This Writers’ Workshop comes with a bit of a twist as the Eagles themselves will get to choose which medium they deliver their instructions: written, visual, or audio. We expect to see everything from videos to 1-pagers to podcasts!

To launch this Writers’ Workshop, Eagles were challenged to follow and then critique a variety of instructions. They were hands-on in the Ascent Test Kitchen trying to follow instructions to make Energy Balls and in the studio itself attempting to craft DaVinci bridges, origami cranes and yarn crafts. The instructions for each activity were delivered through different mediums (written, illustrated, audio and visual) and of varying quality, allowing for the Eagles to decide how effective each would be for providing instruction.

Art is back for Session 4 and Ms. Indigo from Creative Action is joining the studio to guide the Eagles through various means of creative expression using recycled materials.

PD is in full swing with session of kickball on the schedule!


In a learner-driven studio such as this, Eagles support each other in their learning- through academic challenges and inter-personal conflicts. This session the studio elected four people to be Squad Leaders- another layer of support for the heroes. Squad Leaders chose their Squads (groups of 4-5 people who support each other in many ways such as goal-setting, badge completion, conflict resolution, and quest work). Each week Squad Leaders will hold meetings with their Squads to talk about progress, to challenge and support their group. The studio is looking forward to this next level of servant leadership!