What are we made of? Scientific investigations into what makes us who we are.

Tuesdays 10am - 3pm | Ages 9 - 15
January 12 - March 20

What makes you who you are? Combining tools of biology, microbiology, genetics, oral history and geography, students investigated the many layers of this question, and to follow the different paths they lead us down.

We looked at the idea of inheritance through a scientific lens, exploring the many ways we are shaped by our histories. And we studied biology, microbiology, and genetics through the lens of history, thinking about how science interacts with the complicated, messy, beautiful world of people. Together we developed our scientific inquiry skills, using ourselves as a point of departure.

We began by breaking ourselves into parts, learning about our body systems. We met our microbiomes, the trillions of bacteria that make up our bodies and affect our mood, our appearance, and our immune systems. We learned about the different  genetic families, and how our DNA works. And we traced our own genealogies, uncovering our family histories and ancestries across time and place. How far back can we go? Together we traced the historical and geographic paths of humans, connecting our past to our present, asking: how does our deep evolutionary past come up in our daily lives? How does it shape how we move, how we think, what we do? What ancient things do our bodies remember? What is the connection between our gut and our grandparents? What do we inherit, what's fixed about us, and what can we change about who we are? In what ways are we all literally connected? 

Throughout the ten weeks, we used various visual and graphic art techniques to reflect on and interpret our findings, making "mind maps," representational drawings, and paper quillings of body systems. This class was an exploration not only of ourselves and our bodies, but our intricate connections to the past, each other, and the world, from its tiniest bacteria to towering prehistoric fungi!

A course with  Nicole LoBue. Nicole is a co-founder and co-director of Kite's Nest.