Driving Question: How can we improve our spice tolerance through a mixture of science and cultural understanding?
Project Summary: This project was a dive into the science and Mexican cuisine and culture. Saffron and Santiago researched many different kinds of chili peppers before deciding on five local peppers that they and a group of volunteers would be eating to increase their spice tolerance: costeño, pasilla, jalapeño, chiltepín, and habanero. The pair recorded themselves doing so to share their findings.
Student Reflection: “Working on this project was painful, but it was so fun and totally worth it. I learned that eating spicy food can make you feel like you’re being stabbed and yet fill you with a rush of adrenaline, and to be able to share that feeling is simply amazing.” – Class of 2024 student Santiago D.
Driving Question: How can we represent the evolution of leftist movements in Mexico through a zine?
Project Summary: Ella and Luiza’s project is about the evolution of leftism in Mexico, especially in the region of Oaxaca. They explored the Mexican Revolution, the Feminist Movement in Mexico, and the future of Indigenous leadership throughout the term, which cumulated in a final zine showcasing their learning.
Student Reflection: “I loved this project. Truly, I cannot describe how proud I am of this Zine and the work Luiza and I accomplished. Also, there is no way to describe the joy and relaxation of sitting cutting out magazines for hours on end; it is the best thing ever.”- Ella M.
Driving Question: How can I create a photo album capturing the true essence of street art in Oaxaca City?
Project Summary: Raf’s personal project is about photography and photo editing. His project aimed to capture the essence of street art in Oaxaca. Due to the fact that Oaxaca has an abundance of incredible street art, Raf felt it was of high importance to capture this beauty using photography and exemplify it using Photoshop. You can see the pictures Raf has taken and edited below, which hopefully provide a sense of Oaxaca’s beauty.
Student Reflection: This project gave me the time to just pause amongst all the craziness in a term. When taking photos, I felt relaxed, and that I was really appreciating Oaxaca for what it was. I learned that if we don’t pay attention to the small details of a given environment, we might miss its beauty.
This project taught me the importance of collaboration and using people as a resource. Because we were able to combine our skillsets, we could create a high-quality final product, which I do not think I would have been able to achieve alone. I learned a lot from this team project, including troubleshooting Premiere Pro and maintaining our sense of humor in stressful situations.
-Class of 2023 Student Dhruv G.
As a personal project this term, CM2 students Niko W. and Dhruv G. challenged themselves to develop a short documentary capturing the essence of how modules work at TGS, using the Mo-Botics module as an example. They set out to answer the following driving question: “How can we use documentary filmmaking to capture the essence of PBL at TGS?”
The pair investigated different aspects of documentary filmmaking and combined their prior experience and skillsets to storyboard, plan, and execute the film. They also used a combination of student interviews and shots from module excursions as the film’s backbone.
By dividing roles and putting in a substantial amount of post-production editing, they achieved a high-quality final product which they presented at the THINK Beyond showcase.
When starting this project I was extremely passionate about psychology and mental health. I wanted to expand on the knowledge that I had gained in AP psychology, and the next natural step for me was to focus on the brain. I wanted to understand its different components, what everything was responsible for, and what would happen if certain parts got damaged.
-Class of 2022 Student Effie H.
For her personal project, Class of 2022 Student Effie H. focused on the driving question: How might I expand my knowledge of the brain and discover what makes it so unique?
Effie’s project on brain anatomy focused on the intricacies of the brain and what allows us all to be individuals. Her project highlighted the emotional and memory functions of the brain and how without them, we would all essentially be a vegetable.
Her final work consisted of diagrams showing different parts and functions of the brain. Her goal was to help people see that the brain isn’t scary and that it’s fascinating to learn about — the concept doesn’t need to be a scary one, and can easily be broken down into more palatable sections.
Driving Question: How might I build an app that uses music therapy to improve the emotional wellness of teens?
Module Summary: Music therapy is a unique form of rehabilitation that helps people of all ages deal with emotional, physical, and mental ailments by creating and listening to music. For her first TGS mastery project, CM1 Student Yeli K. coded an app that uses music therapy to help teens deal with emotional issues and created a corresponding pitch video to showcase the app.
Student Reflection: “I am doing this project because mental illness has affected so many of my friends and me, and I believe that music therapy is an amazing non-invasive solution for adolescents. This project could bring about true change in our society. Additionally, this project introduced me to advanced coding concepts, which I would eventually like to pursue as a career.” -CM1 Student Yeli K.
Driving Question: How do shutter speed, aperture, and editing affects the final product in portrait photography?
Project Description: This project was about learning how to apply aperture, shutter speed, and editing to the pictures, finding creative backgrounds, and improving my photography skills mainly in portraits.
“Mainly, during this project I found how big my passion is for photography. I hadn’t realized how big it was and how much knowledge I was missing. What was challenging was the editing because figuring it out took me a while. It was very exciting to go out and take pictures for the first time with the proper knowledge, but mainly, having the chance to show people my work.”
Driving Question: How can I study the psychological impact of video games?
Module Overview: For her project, Zoya focused on psychological research by measuring the emotional and behavioral impact of violent and non-violent video games. Her correlative research looked at how playing video games affects individuals by observing them in their natural environment. The participants reflected on their mood and behavior, and Zoya evaluated this research to arrive at her conclusion.
Project Reflection: “Through this project, I learned that I am quite interested in psychology. Conducting research was exciting; however, reading about existing research and previous studies was also quite fascinating. I learned so much about different research methods, and I made so many mistakes while conducting my research. Learning from my own mistakes, however, makes me confident about conducting more investigations in the future.”
Driving Question: How can I use the logic of building up a garment using the right techniques to build up a dress from scratch?
Module Overview: For this project, my goal was to create a summer dress that meets my goals and purpose. My goal was to do a dress that is trendy, comfortable, and that suits me well. I did all the process from making the pattern, cutting the fabric, sewing it, assembling it, and adjusting it to fit me best. I didn’t know anything about sewing, so I had to learn the basics to then sew my dress. The final product is a photoshoot of the dress showing it from different angles.
Project Reflection: “This project was challenging and exciting at the same time. I knew nothing about sewing, so I had to learn everything from the basics. The dress that I wanted to do was so complex that I would get frustrated at some points and didn’t know how to continue. After tons of work, I am proud and surprised by the final product; I wasn’t expecting to do such a pretty dress with so little experience.”
Driving Question: How can I learn about music theory and teach others by analyzing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata?
Module Overview: For this project, Diego learned about music theory by researching chords, scales, and sheet music elements like clefs, staff, accidentals, and dynamic markings. Diego then analyzed and played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to identify the elements used in this song.
Project Reflection: “I didn’t feel this project was work. I thought it more like a hobby, just one more day doing what I like. I learned many things that I didn’t know about the theory, even though I have been playing the piano for several years now. It is the first time that I have shown many people what I can do or play, and that’s really exciting to finally share.”