The Eighth Grade Recital Project, a student rite of passage at Nueva, was established more than twenty years ago as an opportunity for students to investigate and learn about a passion of their choosing. Many students continue to pursue their Recital Project's area of interest in high school and beyond!
Students meet four times in the spring of seventh grade to begin scoping their project. In eighth grade, they attend a weekly class taught by the director of the I-Lab. Design-thinking tenets are practiced throughout the project to help students brainstorm and evaluate different options at each stage of the project.
Eighth Grade Recital Projects require students to:
- choose a project area and make a plan.
- recruit and meet with a mentor (an adult who is not a parent) in the field of study.
- write a research paper (1,000 words or more) that builds knowledge of an aspect of the project and/or gives greater context for the project.
- draft a comprehensive project plan with monthly updates to help students learn project-management techniques for long-term projects.
- design and implement a "Bettering the World" component for the project. Generally, this falls into three categories: 1) Raise funds or using a skill to help a nonprofit organization, 2) educate others about some aspect of their project, and 3) demonstrate that the project itself somehow benefits the world.
Students present their projects on the Thursday night before spring break. Some presentations are performed on the GCC stage, and all students set up displays in the Library and I-Lab and field questions from parents, family friends, and mentors. It is a wonderful celebratory evening.
Entrepreneurship and Knee Braces: Researched the human knee, designed a knee brace, and designed a business plan to launch product into the market
Playing with Fire: Discovered and learned the complicated process of glassblowing
Kilimanjaro: Climbed and photographed Mount Kilimanjaro, a 19,000-foot in Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa
Working with Animals: Shadowed a veterinarian and volunteered for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Fiat Lux: Designed, programmed, and sewed an LED-lit jacket, which lit up in different patterns and colors
Ad Campaign for the Environment: Learned about effective advertising and created ads to heighten environmental awareness
Jiu Jitsu for Dummies: Produced a compilation of Jiu Jitsu self-defense technique videos
La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh: Translated La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh from French to English
Politics for the Internet Generation: Created a website to educate children about politics and to provide a discussion forum on political issues
The Art of Pastry Making: Explored different types of pastry dough and baked a variety of pastries