Article by Aaron Laniosz
Bostonia Global High School opened its doors to students for the first time this August. A public charter school in Cajon Valley, California, Bostonia Global is the result of several years of community, staff, and student input. Founded with a proposal specifically designed to develop the unique strengths, interests, and values of each student, all elements of student experience were considered. Advisory sessions each day build close knit relationships. Competency assessment tracks student growth over the entire four-year high school journey. Each student designs their own custom learning track through the selection of thematic Design Labs. A Design Lab is a topic-focused, project-based learning experience that engages students with the real world in a meaningful way.
Deep Sea Bots is the first Design Lab hosted by NuVuX Fellow Justin Bernard. Justin is a designer, fabricator, educator, and co-founder of StudioRON a multidisciplinary design collective. In Deep Sea Bots, students are imagining and prototyping a fleet of deep-sea robots that help maintain the critical, natural balances that sustain the Earth's ocean ecosystems. Students are working collaboratively in makerspaces newly equipped on the Bostonia Global campus. The Design Lab began with researching and presenting some of the greatest threats to our Earth’s oceans. At the smaller scale, students analyzed closely the mechanical movements of underwater creatures and replicated them through hand prototyping. These kinetic models are a first step in what will be a four year journey of achieving new perspectives and developing new skills through hands-on learning.