While their classmates are on SHAEP for two weeks, sophomores are participating in a project-based learning (PBL) adventure here at home. The theme of the project is, Migration and Building Communities. During this PBL, students are asked to reflect on migrations and building communities in the face of constant, and often radical change. Working with different communities in the Princeton area, the students will together create a mural; a piece of art that reflects the stories of the participating communities.
Despite the shortened school week, the students began on Monday with brainstorming around the overarching questions of, "How do migrations impact the human need for community?" and "How can we celebrate community/migration through mural art?" Tuesday, they took a walking tour of 10 murals in downtown Philadelphia with the organization, Mural Arts Philadelphia, the nation's largest public art program. The very informative tour helped the students to understand how communities get together to make decisions on murals that will be painted in their neighborhood. The young women had the very special opportunity to work on a community mural for a fallen firefighter named Daniel Sweeney at the Asian Arts Initiative on Vine Street in Philadelphia. Each were able to paint a piece of the huge mural. One student shared, "When I see this mural on the Philadelphia street, I will be proud to have been part of this community project!" It was an amazing experience and the students better understood how murals are painted and how much of a community spirit they carry.
This week the students will be working with three different communities in the Princeton area to create a mixed media collage mural, with painting, drawing, photography, and poetry. It will be a triptych mural (three parts) reflecting the three different communities.
This program is modeled after the innovative Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method which incorporates hands-on experiences and creative problem solving of real world issues.
See photos in the slideshow below or in our photo gallery.