Apprenticeship at Orchard Gardens: Week Nine and Ten

Tuesday, April 28th, was the ninth week of the Orchard Gardens apprenticeship.

Journal comments from Orchard Gardens Students:
“…I love being in this apprenticeship.”

“Today we worked on how we are going to set up for the WOW and how everything was going to work. It was really fun because we learned a lot about how the Brain, breadboard, sensor, and the 3D printer worked, and the way that Bradley and Jared explained [everything] was really understandable.”

“Today was fun [because we wrote] on the posters. Yasemin made sure we were on task but we had fun at the same time. I give her an A+++!”

Reflections from NNHS students:
It was really nice going from station to station this week in order to see what the kids have learned from the entire apprenticeship. Our group did really well when telling what each station was about and they seem to be almost completely prepared for W.O.W. event.  When we were brainstorming questions of what they students might be questioned about, they were very focused and we completed what was supposed to be done. This week was one of the most productive of the apprenticeship and it was rather fun.

This week we spent time preparing for the WOW event in two weeks. Reviewing everything we had done went fairly quickly, and then we had the students imagine what people who came to see the class would ask. I was extremely impressed by how willing they were to contribute to the discussion. I had expected to have much more trouble keeping them focused on a task that is less interesting than what we have been doing so far. Hearing the amount of information each student retained summed up the work that we have been doing very nicely.

Even though Alex was not here this week, our group did a good job staying on task. We reviewed everything to prepare for the WOW event. The students were really enthusiastic about coming up with the questions that maybe asked. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had retained almost all the knowledge and knew all the answers to the questions they came up with. Even though this week was not as hands on as the others, the students still seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Tuesday, May 5th, was the tenth week of the Orchard Gardens apprenticeship.

Journal comments from Orchard Gardens Students:
“This week, I enjoyed working with my group. Today we did Jeopardy. Jeopardy was very fun because we got to share what we learned over the whole period of our apprenticeship. We learned more as a group. We worked better than before. We agreed for the most part.”

“I like what we did today. I really thought it was gonna be walking around, but we had fun. We played a game. We did this really fun stuff and I really wanted to thank the two wonderful teachers, and I also want to thank everybody who came to spend time with us, even if they don’t get paid.”

“Today was a good day. We got to get everything done today. I am going to do the journal table. I know what to do. This is going to be my last journal entry that I am doing. I am going to miss everyone after the Wow! It is going to be a good Wow!”

“Yeah, you’re forgiven. Sometimes I don’t come to school either (P.S. Today was fun and I learned a lot about the 3D printer). J You’re so fun! L You didn’t teach me Estonian.”

“Today was a headache. We had to memorize a lot of things for the WOW, but it was all worth it because it was another opportunity for learning. P.S. Bradley and Mariel explained the plan so well. I am so sad this apprenticeship is ending because Mariel and Bradley did very well in teaching us and making sure we understood everything. I am going to miss you.”

“Today was fun because we knew a lot and didn’t have to do much. Alex and Yasemin were good teachers, and I had fun with them. I give both of them an A++++++!”

Reflections from NNHS students:
My group and I have grown really close during the 10 weeks we’ve spent at Orchard Gardens so it’s sad to say bye to them.  They seem to like when we respond to them in their journals; it’s a great way to start up a conversation and get a little bit personal about how their week has been since we’ve seen them, and how well they worked that evening.  I have to credit my group for being so great at helping each other throughout the entire process between reading/understanding the instruction and communicating instructions and explanations.  During the apprenticeship, we have made some great lasting memories that I will always take with me.

It’s so weird how fast this came and went. I feel like only last week, we were getting to know each other’s names, but now we have finished our last lesson, and are in preparation for the WOW week. However, I feel like my team and I have bonded a lot since the beginning, and that all of the students have done incredibly impressive work through out the entire course. Today was a bit hectic and busy in our preparation for the final WOW presentations, but my group managed to push on through all of it, and continue to impress. They were super fun, and I’m going to miss them once this is all over.

The last weekly visit to Orchard Gardens was very productive. Regardless of the heat in the classroom, the students were well-engaged and concentrated on preparing for the WOW event.  It was great to see how much they have learned over the course of this curriculum, and I’m excited to see all their hard work pay off next Thursday. I will miss working with them in the future.

It has been a pleasure to work with the Citizens School students in the past eleven weeks. They have certainly shown their true colors and explored different areas that they haven’t tried before. Most of students I worked with have never soldered, designed something to be 3D printed, let alone built an invention before. If we hadn’t volunteered to teach this apprenticeship, they might have never experienced these kinds of things in their future and realized that they love to do them. This is why taking risks is one of the most important things to do as a kid because trying new things broadens your view of what you might love to do.

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