May 03, 2018


8th Grade Independent Studies

Veteran’s services, baseball analytics, the Mandela Effect, and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) are just some of the many topics the Class of 2018 researched and shared for Independent Study this year. Their work reflected the rich diversity of interests in this year’s senior class.


Since 2016, 8th Graders at Greene Street Friends School have received the time and resources to pursue an area that interests them. Along the way, students learned to formulate a proposal, conduct research, collaborate with an advisor, and manage deadlines in addition to gaining expertise in their chosen fields. The culmination of the project was to enrich the community by presenting what they learned, and the methods of sharing were as varied as the topics.


Students delivered their presentations to classmates, the seventh grades classes, parents, and staff on Friday, April 13. Some chose to perform for the whole group in the Meetinghouse, while others shared ‘showcase style’ in the lunchroom.


Alex researched, filmed, edited, scripted, and provided the voice-over for a video on mental health in adolescents. Sam used a slideshow to compare and contrast characters from Star Wars and Greek mythology. Xzayvier demonstrated basketball finger-rolls to guests looking to improve their half-court skills. An array of samples helped Claire teach us about the form and function of point shoes in ballet. Nadiya performed an originally choreographed Odissi dance routine. And after studying the career of Kevin Hart, Chris closed the morning with a stand-up comedy routine.


The audience was clearly entertained, and the 8th Graders themselves had a lot to say about the process. “People took it seriously and that was interesting to see - you got to know more about each individual,” said Anthony, who researched police brutality. “I got to learn more about my history and world issues.”


“I really enjoyed that it was something you got to choose because I was more passionate about it and put more effort into it,” said Chloe, who created a three-dimensional map highlighting key elements in the history of transgender people in America. “I learned more about a topic I had only heard about before.”


While topics ranged from comic to tragic, all involved genuine learning, both for the 8th Graders and their audience. “I really liked it. It was cool to see how many topics there were, and what people thought about them,” said seventh-grader Charline.  “I appreciate how much work people put into it.” Others in the crowd echoed her sentiments.


The morning was a fitting culmination to the months of energy the 8th Graders expended in learning their topics. The success of the 2018 Independent Study project has made it clear that this is a rich Greene Street Friends tradition in the making!