In the high school, the fall colloquium marks a transition between seasons and endeavors. This year's focus came from The Martian, by Andy Weir, a novel that makes a case for rational deliberation and humor as tools to conquer impossible odds. The protagonist must creatively develop his self-reliance to survive, but ultimately it is a story about the group coming together to achieve wholeness.

During Colloquium Week, small groups of students applied their own problem solving skills in an experiential rocketry project that yielded results as hilarious as they were varied. We got serious with a presentation about the science behind the book, and developed group identity by creating a series of symbolic planetary logos. We pondered the limits of understanding during senior-led discussion groups, and created visual messages at a downtown scavenger hunt with our cell phones.  We finished the week in a circle, sharing small glimmers of who we are, before getting on buses to go cheer the girls' Volleyball team play in the 5th annual Wolf VB tournament on Friday afternoon.

-Elliot Ryan, SFWS High School Humanities Teacher and Faculty Chair

(photos by Susanna Green)

Time Lapse Video of 9th Grade Last Supper Reproduction

While in the mornings the 9th graders soak themselves in the work of a number of masters from different periods during their Main Lesson History through Art, their afternoon art block is much less restrictive and the students are asked to replicate—as a group—one of the most iconic pieces they studied: Leonardo's Last Supper. Since, thanks to a prior art class, they have already been exposed to charcoal techniques, it is not difficult for them to enjoy the freedom afforded by working both in such large format and shoulder to shoulder with their classmates.

Senior Class Films Available for Viewing!

Every year, the senior class of the Santa Fe Waldorf High School take a film class in which they learn many new skills and express their imagination in the form of their own films. Through devoted mentoring and hard work, the class of 2017 created captivating stories that serve as a culmination of their arts curriculum.

They recently held a screening of the three short films made during their film class. They had a full house at the Center for Contemporary Arts! 

Here are the three films for your viewing pleasure:

“The Tunnel” tells the story of a girl named Amy who loses her way after a traumatic event in her life. Amid her despair, she encounters a guiding force who helps her find herself again and understand what truly happened. (By Aydin Gates, Sophie Linett, & Maria Enriquez)

"Sister" is the story of siblings Michael and Amaia, who are spending the day by the railroad tracks. They get into a fight that changes their lives and their relationship forever. Years later, they struggle to move on. (By Natalina Cotter, Zoe Whittle, & Carlo Ramirez)

“RISK” is a short film about a boy growing up with his imaginary friend. Afraid of taking risks, Sam compensates by creating Alice, his inner voice. Once an adult, Sam realizes his fears and conquers them by letting go of the one thing that made him feel safe. (By Lily Fowler, Julian Kneisley, & Aylin Sheehan)

What app developers learn from casinos

From Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesdays | May 23, 2017

I just returned from Hong Kong, where I presented Screenagers at schools, churches, and associations. One of the most interesting screenings was at a conference for addiction professionals. Did you know that about 1% of the U.S. population has a gambling disorder? It is almost double that in Hong Kong.

For this TTT I talk about how app and game developers design their products using tricks that the gambling industry has been using for years to hook players in and keep them playing.

Near misses and short-term rewards that lead to promises of a bigger win are some of the tricks app and game developers have taken from electronic slot machine designers to keep players playing. In an article in The Economist writer Ian Leslie explains:

“The machines are programmed to create near misses: winning symbols appear just above or below the ‘payline’ far more often than chance alone would dictate. The player’s losses are thus reframed as potential wins, motivating her to try again. Mathematicians design payout schedules to ensure that people keep playing while they steadily lose money.”

Click here to read the full article.