By Chris Taylor, High School Visual Arts and Multimedia Teacher

The Grade 7 boys have been very busy finishing up their design unit before this week’s winter break.  Their task was to build a model plane from bristle board and Popsicle sticks.  The introduction to the unit was a short presentation on the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.  I wanted to make the class aware that da Vinci wasn’t just known for his paintings, but also for his flying machines.  I informed the class that even though his flying machines did not work, da Vinci was hundreds of years ahead of his time and laid the groundwork for generations to come after him.  Because the classes’ flying machines would not fly either, I encouraged students to design a flying machine that does not fit the regular norms of what they know as an airplane and push the boundaries of their designs.  And they did.  Congratulations boys!  Well done!

The Grade 8 boys were up to their elbows in model-making materials and hot glue as well.  Whereas the Grade 7’s had to build machines that fly, the Grade 8 boys were assigned the task of designing their dream homes.  After the frustration subsided around cutting foam core with utility knives – which was used for constructing the walls – the class immersed themselves in placing their windows and doors, staircases, skylights and even second stories with roof-top patios. Congratulations boys!  Well done!

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