There are many types of cross-curricular projects built into the Powhatan experience. Those projects enhance Deep Learning, which implies that students will follow a particular route of inquiry from top to bottom, rather than simply lightly sampling all the possible routes. We are committed to providing this type of robust learning environment throughout the school, and you see examples at all grade levels, including integration with Specials, such as Music, Art, World Language and even Sports.

A terrific example of interdisciplinary teaching is a cool new eighth grade collaboration with music, technology and art.

The students started the technology portion of the project off by deciding which musical notes they wanted their instrument to have. Ms. Davis and Mrs. Miller had decided to limit them to a max of 8 notes. Once they had their notes chosen, students had to decide whether they were going to find those notes online prerecorded or record themselves playing each individual note. They downloaded and cropped/edited each note so they had their specific scale for their instrument.

From there, students used Scratch, or another program of their choice, to program the connections on the Makey Makeys to play those specific notes when activated by touch. They had to know which keys on the Makey Makeys were going to be associated with which musical notes so that they could program everything accordingly.

They then worked in the Makerspace with Mr. Royston, the art teacher, to build their instruments.

Once their musical instruments were constructed and they had their conductive points connected to the Makey Makey through the use of alligator clips and wires, the students were able to play them. They needed to know about circuits and being able to “close the circuit” in order to trigger the musical notes to play, so there was a little bit of science thrown into the project as well.

~Mrs. Miller, Educational Technology Teacher