History and CREATE Studio Combine for Laser Project

Looking to offer students an alternative form of assessment and a different lens through which to explore their subject material, Shana Barnett's and Regan Buck Bardeen's 10th Grade Global Studies classes teamed up with CREATE Studio Resident Tinkerer Max Nishimura for a collaborative exercise in inquiry-based learning.

Using the CREATE Studio's equipment, students created working, laser-cut timelines to demonstrate causation during the Industrial Revolution and European Imperialism in Africa. To create these moving timelines, students asked, "Is an imbalance of power inevitable within and between societies? Was the Industrial Revolution inevitable in Europe and was Africa destined to be the source for slaves in the Atlantic?". To answer these questions, students used historical thinking methods to analyze primary and secondary sources about the development of technology in the 19th century.

After generating a prototype of their designs, Max guided student groups in creating beautiful and high quality work, which featured working gears and intricate design details. Students then took notes on their fellows' work, their many boards combining for a beautiful, and instructive, final timeline. Each piece of the timeline highlights one primary source; as the audience interacts with the timeline, they are able to see the direct impact of technology on societies during the 19th century. Students were quick to comment on this tactile and visual method of learning, noting a level of engagement beyond traditional reading. The timelines will be on display at this year's CREATE Studio Showcase on May 15!
Windward School is a 7-12, co-educational, independent day school in Los Angeles, California.