In its second year running, the Winter Projects allow students to select from a broad range of interdisciplinary course offerings and pair up with two teachers (one from each discipline) on a project that requires using the tools from both disciplines. As one of the three prongs of the Practicum for Civic Leadership, these projects aim to teach students critical 21st century skills such as working collaboratively to understand an issue, learning how to give an oral presentation both as part of a group and as an individual, as well as learning how to ask the right questions when confronted with a challenge.

Our spotlight project this month is the Key Club Campus Tour in Mandarin.

The goal of this project was to create a video tour of the School entirely in Mandarin for the purpose of being used as an admissions tool for prospective students from China who may be unable to experience a tour on campus. Kenny McDougal ‘17, one of the 3 seniors working on the project, says, “We all enjoyed being on set. As the ‘actor’ it was Jack Makris and Hunter Olstein’s job to direct me to be relaxed and have fun.” McDougal adds, “The biggest challenge for me was memorizing the script (Chinese is really hard!).” The students are proud of their finished product and hope it will help the admissions office in the future.

“Watching Kenny develop the narrative, work on pronunciation and on tones, and consider the challenges of translating a live tour to a professional video with high production values was a learning and an enlightening process for me as well,” says Mandarin teacher Mark Corliss. “He nuanced well all aspects of the project.  In conjunction with Hunter Olstein, videographer; Jack Makris, key grip; and Leo Chen, editor, Kenny’s work showed that when given time and space, students are able to accomplish much.  I am very proud of the work by the members of this project,” Corliss concludes.

Watch the campus tour here.

For a full list of Winter Projects, view the course catalog.