WINTER/SPRING 2018 CLASSES

JANUARY 2018 - JUNE 2018

SPACE 2.0

Fridays, 4:00pm - 7:00pm | Ages 13+  | September 2017 - June 2018

A weekly space for Hudson teenagers. With Sharece Johnson.
Space 2.0 is a space for teenagers in Hudson to have as their own. It’s a place where teens can go on field trips, have fun together, make media, play games, talk about issues in the world, develop the skills to be leaders within their own lives and communities. This semester we went roller skating, produced our own Buzzfeed videos, went to the premiere of films produced by the teen filmmakers of Youth FX, competed against each other in food challenges (like popcorn and smoothies), played Black History jeopardy, watched movies (like Hidden Figures), saw the Hudson High School production of Sound of Music, engaged in honest conversations about colorism, immigration and gender, had impromptu dance parties, and helped out with the younger kids at the Roots & Rebels Garden Club. Special thank you to Jason Marlow for his help in making this Buzzfeed-inspired video. Check it out!


ROOTS & REBELS GARDEN CLUB

Fridays, 3:30pm - 5:00pm | All ages  | May - June 2018

Getting our hands dirty in the River City Garden. With Kristen Jones and Kaya Weidman, with help from the Space 2.0 teens.

We spent our Friday afternoons at the River City Garden, growing plants, tending to the garden, and playing outside. Each week we were joined by the teens of Space 2.0, who helped us to plant and play: this spring we planted herbs, uprooted weeds, and sifted compost. We spotted groundhogs, found plenty of bugs, and met a beehive. We danced in sprinklers, grilled pizzas, and made our own garden fairy homes. This program was made possible with support from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Green Pastures Fund.


FASHION STUDIO: WEAVE & STITCH

Thursdays, 3:30pm - 5:00pm | Ages 8-14  | January - June 2018

Making our own fashion lines, exploring our own styles. With Margot Becker and Zebi Williams.

In this after school studio, we learned to design and make things to wear and use. We started with embroidery techniques, stitching our names onto clothes, practicing our applique, and making pompoms and tassels. We experimented with block printing, carving designs into potatoes and using found objects to play with color ways and pattern designs. We made our own tote bags and woven-yarn bags, learning about weaving and discovering the difference between knit and woven fabrics, and making our own tote bags and woven-yarn bags. And we practiced the art of illustration and fashion drawing - developing our basic figure sketching skills and drawing proportions, and learning to design clothing for all different body types. At the Salvation Army we played dress-up, bringing clothes back to the classroom to play with construction and deconstruction - working with our favorite pieces of clothing to create patterns and using draping to construct new garments. Throughout the semester we explored and experimented with our own individual and collective styles. Special thank you to Marnie Macgregor and Lindsay Ferguson!


BIOMIMICRY & BABY DRAGONS

Thursdays, 9:30am - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2018

Do our stomachs have the solution? Biology-inspired design and technology. With Kevin Bose and Zebi Williams.

In this class we looked at the future of waste, learning to see and engage waste as a valuable resource rather than something to throw “away”. Through story circles, outdoor excursions, movies and online research we explored nature’s masterpieces – photosynthesis, self-assembly, natural selection, self-sustaining ecosystems, animal shelters, medicines, and more. We practiced shifting our lenses -- looking not at what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from and with nature. We went on to conduct our own design experiments, asking questions like: How does blubber help whales stay warm in icy oceans? How can we use that solution to design garments to keep humans warm in the ocean?

We conducted our first case study around Waste-Water Treatment, taking a field trip to the Hudson Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant to see how humans have solved this problem using an industrial model; visiting a local swamp to explore the solutions to wastewater treatment that nature has designed; and visiting the Darrow School’s “Living Machine,” which cycles wastewater through an aquatic ecosystem before returning it to the Hudson River watershed, to see how systems of nature can be replicated in a real-world context. The “Living Machine” uses the energy cycling of an aquatic ecosystem as a model, treating wastewater from school dorms and other campus buildings before returning the water to the Hudson River watershed. 

In our second case study, we explored Energy. We started by grounding ourselves in our bodies, and looking at the biological process that allows us to harness energy from food. Researching the evolution of the human digestive system and our symbiotic relationship with the microbial world within us, we learned how both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria function. We looked under microscopes, taking mouth swabs and incubating our personal microbiome in petri dishes. We deconstructed how the human digestive system works, using this foundational knowledge to understand how a biogas digesters might function. The students built on this knowledge to construct their own Kite’s Nest biogas digester - nicknamed “Gasagon The Waste Eater“. We call it a digester because it is a large oxygen-free tank filled with anaerobic bacteria that eats (or digests) organic waste and release a flammable methane gas, called biogas. 

Special thank you to Chris Lindstrom, the Darrow School, the Hudson Municipal Wastewater Treatment plant, and the Radix Center.


myth!

Mondays, 9:30am - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2018

Discovering and interpreting mythologies from around the world, and creating our own. With Ngonda Badila and Heylan Tsumagari.

In this class we explored the who, what, where, when and why of mythologies from around the world, learning about the many ways myths are passed on over generations, both around the world and in our own families. Each week we delved into myths from different regions and cultures: we traveled through myth to places throughout the continents of Asia and Africa, back to the land that we stand on, and considered how myths have cross-pollinated and influenced each other over time. Each myth we explored uncovered core aspects of how humans have made meaning throughout history: we learned about seasonal folklore, uncovering the myth and origins of Groundhogs day, Easter, and moon folktales; we considered the sacred meanings held by natural elements, as illustrated in the myth of Crystal Amethyst; and we learned about different God/god systems across cultures. We began noticing how mythology influences popular culture in visible and subtle ways all around us, visiting the Taconic Sculpture Park to see work influenced by mythology. And throughout the semester we explored the many, many forms that myth-telling takes, from clay artifacts to comic strips, paper-making and paper-folding to animal masks, from costume-making and play-writing to performance. (We even created our own seven-person dragon!) After so much myth-exploration, art-making, and discussion, we turned our attention towards the creation of our own myths. We began by learning more about the Native American history of this region, acknowledging those whom this land was taken from, and its influence on our lives and surroundings here. And together we started storyboarding, mapping, recording and writing our own mythical worlds and mythologies. Special thank you to the Taconic Sculpture Park, Matt Bua, the Hudson Area Library, Pamela Badila, and Kenneth Polinskie.

LAST PICTURE SHOW

Tuesdays, 9:30am - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2018

What can we learn about society, and ourselves, through film? With Darian Henry and Bhawin Suchak, of Youth FX.

In part 1 of this class, students engaged in a 7-week collaborative fantasy writing process: together we imagined other worlds and beings, working to turn our ideas into a coherent story. We studied the narrative arcs of fiction, character and plot development; we wrote back-stories for our characters; and we watched as our story evolved through multiple stages of revision. Then we shifted to examine key themes in science fiction, with an emphasis on changing technologies. Together we learned about simulations in entertainment and science and virtual reality, and we discussed key sci fi questions, like: What is reality? What is consciousness? What is time? We catalogued current technologies that were once imagined in speculative fiction, and created dioramas to imagine our today’s technologies projected 50 years into the future.

MATH IN MUSIC

Tuesdays, 9:30am - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2018

Math as a tool for building instruments and exploring sound. With Ken Reichl and Bill Brovold.

We began our math journey with the introduction of the abacus-based approach to solving math problems, a practice that relies on a math strategy known as decomposition. Decomposition makes computation easier by breaking numbers down into their component parts - finding numbers’ complement and partner partners. We looked at different kinds of abaci and the history of the abacus, discovering how the abacus evolved over the centuries to put less demand on short-term memory. Then we used our math skills to measure, cut, and build our own instruments -- including a cigar box guitar, a berimbau, and a cimbalom -- marking the instruments at the points where different notes hit. We explored the concept of cymatics and the science of harmony, constructing a vibrating Chladni plate, and playing it with a bow to create symmetric patterns with sand and liquid. We learned about fractions and beats: counting and breaking down rhythm into measures, which are fractions of rhythmic phrases, and beats, which are fractions of measures. We listened to music and deconstructed the sounds we were hearing, and then composed our own songs based on imagery and division of rhythmic components. We even performed our own instruments at the 24-hour Drone Fest, a music festival at Basilica Hudson with a global line-up of artists, and created our own band - the Holy Smokes!


MOBILE CLASSROOM

Fridays, 9:30am - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2018

Weekly excursions and art adventures to discover hidden layers of the world around us. With David Eustace, Margot Becker, and Alex Guerrero.

Each week our mobile classroom traveled to different locations throughout the region, exploring the many interrelated elements that make up a community, both locally and around the world -- and how these different elements (children, elders, writers, artists, reporters, animals, trees, etc) interweave, relate, and converge to make a whole. By the end of our time together, we hadn’t only traveled to dozens of places - we had developed a powerful sense of community within our own classroom, city, and world. Here’s a glimpse into our many trips and travels:  

  • We began with a trip to the Hudson Area Library to explore world regions through books, seeking out points of similarity and difference, and igniting our curiosity about worlds beyond our own - and we enjoyed an African vegetable stew at Nzo Badila!
  • We screened films and children the role of children in the ensemble of the community, and the idea that “it takes a village”. Later we colored pictures with toddlers and helped with the garden at Bright Tykes, a family Day Care in Hudson, and created Mother’s Day gifts with the young children at Debbie’s Day Care in Claverack.
  • We took a trip to Providence Hall (an residence for seniors) and the Senior Center in Hudson, hearing from our elders about their memories of entertainment and media, playing cards and dancing, and exploring the idea of a real “social media” - talking to each other!
  • We visited the Catskill studio of Iranian stencil artist, portrait artist, and clothing designer Laleh Khorramian, hearing about her creative process and offerings, learning about rabbit skin glue and light boxes, and getting our own personal portraits.
  • We visited the office of Columbia Greene Media, home of the Register Star newspaper, to see the archives, to meet with reporters and editors, and to learn about the questions reporters ask.
  • We met up with Chris Weidman at the famous Sugar Shack at the Germantown Farm, discovering the science and magic of tapping maple trees and making maple syrup.
  • We traveled to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, learning about the life and work of Norman Rockwell and staging our own photographs with his work.
  • We visited Asia Borong in Great Barrington, a store/museum with an extraordinary collection of artisanal Asian art made of every conceivable material - looking at delicate mirrors, mosaic Buddhas, wooden dragons, elaborately-designed kimonos, prayer flags, gongs, statues, paintings and more…
  • We visited the farm at Hawthorne Valley in Ghent, meeting baby calves, petting horses, catching chickens, gathering eggs, feeding the pigs, changing animal bedding, thinning the beets in the greenhouse, and even hiking the High Falls of Philmont.
  • We met with and interviewed extraordinary writers in residence at Art Omi, hearing about the world of professional writing, editing, and publishing.
  • We even traveled to New York City, visiting exhibitions and the planetarium at the Museum of Natural History! We had a truly full day, learning about the human senses, life in the ocean, animals from all over the world, and space, and saw an eclectic assortment of visual marvels from all over the world.

Special thank you to the Hudson Area Library, Residents of Providence Hall, the Hudson Senior Center, Laleh Khorramian, Columbia Greene Media, Chris Weidman, Indigo Ocean and Hawthorne Valley Farm, Carol Frederick and Art Omi, Bright Tykes, and Debbie’s Day Care.


move, dance, sing!

Mondays, 3:30pm - 5:00pm | All ages | January - June 2018

Adventures in the discovery of the world through folklife stories, theater, movement, song and dance. With Pamela Badila.

Students of all ages joined the amazing Mrs. Badila weekly to enter the worlds of stories and folktales from around the world. Some weeks we were a percussion ensemble, learning to make rhythms together with drums and performing at the Hudson International Dinner and the Hudson Area Library. We played with creative theater and story, learned songs and dances from different cultures, and experimented with our own expressive gestures and movement. Special thank you to the Diata Diata International Folkloric Theater Company.


MAKER SPACE: ROBOTICS

Tuesdays, 3:30pm - 5:00pm | Ages 8-14 | January - June 2018

Robotics, automation, and machine control with the Catskill Maker Space. With Bryan Lauas and Zebi Williams.

Each week we headed to the Catskill Maker Space to dive into the world of circuitry, coding and electronics. We went on a field trip to Digifab, seeing robots and 3D printing in the context of real-world work and fabrication. Then we dove into our own small group projects: we made a remote-control vehicle, cannibalizing old electronic parks (a TV remote control and cell phone battery), building a wooden tank structure, printing wheels with a 3D printer, building an electronic circuit, and learning to program Adreno. We made another remote-controlled vehicle with air compression and hydraulics, learning to work with lil bits to create rapid prototypes. And we designed and constructed a noise-powered sign, first creating a low-fidelity model with a sound trigger, putting the code into a circuit board, and connecting it to a servo motor. Over the course of the semester we built a sense of teamwork, and developed a connection to the wacky and vibrant community of makers at the Catskill Maker Space - who gave feedback on our projects, helped us along the way, and worked on their own projects alongside us.