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May 01, 2017
Celebr8, the 8th-Grade Culminating Experience Project, is not your typical end-of-the-year school activity. At San Francisco Day School, 8th-grade students are asked to create a project that speaks to their personal interests and demonstrates their growth, resulting in complex projects that are both personal, informed, and thought-provoking. Each year this project has grown and developed to address our students' academic and socioemotional needs. This year's class continued their overarching theme of "Constants and Variables" as part of their process.
For the past two years, SF Day has also incorporated the Design Thinking Process, a framework that supports students as they creatively use empathy to problem solve, to more fully meet those needs. Students' process incorporated these elements of Design Thinking:
- Empathy interviews
- Reflection (and redesign)
Students focused their time at school to brainstorm, draft proposals, and select prospective mentors to help guide them through their work. At various points of the project, students updated their progress websites and presented to panels of their peers and adults. In the final weeks leading up to the presentation, our 8th-grade students are fully immersed in their projects, striving to bring each one to completion. Each class unveils their hard work with a presentation to the SFDS community, aptly named “Celebr8.” Prior to presenting their work, each student shares a brief statement and then introduces their project. This is a wonderful community moment as every single student has a moment to shine and in so many ways.
In past years, Celebr8 has inspired one-of-a-kind projects such as an eco-friendly rocket, an 'acts of kindness' app, a school mural, and a study and report on immigration. We’ve witnessed students create thoughtful documentaries, design and fabricate sustainable sports equipment, and write, perform, and produce original music. This year's projects were equally diverse and engaging. Students tackled issues of homelessness, institutional needs, and gender and racial privilege, just to name a few.
Bravo, Class of 2017!