Upper Loop Updates: February 9, 2024. Update on Labs, Events, and Announcements

Upper Loop Updates: February 9, 2024. Update on Labs, Events, and Announcements

By Jarret Voytilla / February 09, 2024 / Upper Loop Updates, Learning Designers

Greg and J would like to extend a giant thank you to all families that were able to attend our recent Coffee Morning on UL Program Updates for 2024-2025.    

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Dear Upper Loop Learners & Families,

Greg and J would like to extend a giant thank you to all families that were able to attend our recent Coffee Morning on UL Program Updates for 2024-2025.  

There was a LOT of information to digest at once,  so here is a link to the slide deck so that families can revisit at their convenience.   

We also received some verbal feedback from attendees that they still had a few wonderings about how Advanced Placement [AP] pathways would fit into the VERSO UL program.   

Please see below for some extended clarifications to some of the most common wonderings that we heard. 

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Rise of the Robots (with Matt & Michael)

  • Over the past two weeks learners have competed in a robotic sumo challenge - building robots to stay on a mat while pushing off their opponents.
  • The first iteration of the challenge was on a narrow path so they knew the opposing robot would be straight ahead.
  • In the last round, there was a round mat with 3 robots so learners had to incorporate sensors and code their robots to decide on the best strategy.
  • The skills they built during these challenges will assist them in creating their autonomous systems which will be one of the final outputs of our lab. 

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Future Fashion (with Chrissy & Joe)

 
 
  • Over the past two weeks learners have been uncovering and interpreting the world of fashion by looking into why clothes matter, past fashion movements and current trends.
  • They completed their research through secondary research online as well as primary research during two BTW trips.
  • They collected and analyzed data on the current pulse of fashion through interviewing, observations and sketching during their visit to Mega Bangna and a range of exhibits across the city for this year's Bangkok Design Week. 

  • This week they used this as inspiration to compete in a 3 hour “Upcycle Fashion Challenge” where all teams worked well together in creating innovative outfits made from unwanted clothes.
  • This has helped to consolidate their understanding, develop ideation techniques and refine their textiles skills ready for the next phase of the project.
  • We have also begun developing our website where learners can share their current research and promote their own fashion movements as their project progresses. 

Please continue to donate any unwanted clothes or fabric so we can continue to make our project as sustainable as possible. All donations are greatly appreciated and any not used during the project will be given to Second Chance Bangkok.

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House Your Home (with Li Yin & Joseph)

  • Last week, learners experienced the Bangkok Design Week projects with Urban Studies Lab facilitators.
  • The walking tour exposed learners to how communities were developed and maintained in the Nang Loeng area.
  • Learners learned the rationale, impacts, and collaborative efforts that the local community had undertaken to develop the area.
  • In the afternoon, learners continued to check out Bangkok Design Week exhibitions at River City and TCDC (Thailand Creative Design Center) for more inspirations to address housing inequality
  • This week as learners investigated the topic of housing inequality and homelessness, learners volunteered in a community kitchen and distributed meals to the homeless and elderly.
  • They heard from the co-founder of Bangkok Help Community Foundation about the initiative and assembled the hot meals.
  • Learners helped distribute the food at government-organized locations near Sanam Luang area. 

We are still in the process of decorating our classroom and would appreciate any other furniture or household items you may want to donate! All items will be donated to Second Chance BKK by the end of the learning lab for the Klong Toey community. 

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Vertex

  • Last week, our seniors attended the Bangkok Design Week, participating in a variety of activities, workshops, and exhibitions.
  • This experience aimed to spark inspiration, broaden their knowledge base, gather more ideas, and facilitate networking with industry professionals and organizations relevant to their projects.

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  • Our learners took a significant step by presenting their project proposals this week.
  • These presentations were comprehensive, outlining the scope of their projects, sources of inspiration, required resources, milestones, and next actions.
  • The array of projects presented was both diverse and innovative, capturing our learners' creativity:
    • Mental Health Kit designed for school counselors and students, focusing on accessible support for Sensory Processing Issues (SPI).
    • An Interactive Art Installation exploring Thai superstitions and their impact on local culture.
    • Modular Fashion - a project that redefines versatility and sustainability in Burmese clothing.
    • Imagining the Future of Thailand - a community art book project
    • Jazz Music Production, culminating in a mini-concert of original tracks that blend traditional and modern musical elements.
    • Creative Illustration & Animation
    • Fundraising & information dissemination events dedicated to the conservation of the Neptune's Cup Sponge

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  • This "Application" phase of this program is designed to cultivate project management skills and enable learners to apply their knowledge within their chosen fields or topics.
  • Currently, they are in the process of refining their project directions and objectives, while also scouting for suitable venues for their final presentations.
  • This phase challenges them to think critically and creatively but also prepares them for the real-world application of their skills and ideas.

If you have any venue suggestions, possible partnerships, or sponsorship offers related to any of the mentioned projects, please send them to gideon.d@verso.ac.th or thomas.tran@verso.ac.th.

Our learners will greatly appreciate your support and contributions as they finalize this phase of their projects.

Power Hour (with Coaches Joe and Thomas)

  • Power Hour for Q3 has been focused around Personal Fitness and Exercise, taking learners through some general routine and group fitness.
  • This includes running, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and other exercises.
  • On Fridays the learners have been exploring a netball variant that has sparked the competitiveness in our learners.
  • As we move into the upcoming weeks learners will begin swimming as a form of exercise.
  • Swimming is a great form of low impact exercise but also an essential life skill.
  • Swimming begins on Tuesday Feb. 13 while Fridays' Power Hour sessions will proceed as team sport/activity day.

AP Com Sci (with Michael)

  • We are nearing the end of our 8th unit of study (out of a total of 10) about 2D arrays.
  • To practice skills associated with this concept learners are creating their own tic tac to games in Java.
  • After that, with only two units remaining, we’re well on our way to having ample time for revision before the AP Exams in May.
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U Well (with Greg)

  • Since the holiday break we have been learning about mental health and we have gone over the more common diagnoses.
  • We go through the symptoms, how they are diagnosed, and the treatment.
  • Students have been developing a project that will teach us about a specific diagnosis of their choosing in a podcast or video with an example from the media, an expert’s perspective on treatment, and an example of someone living with the diagnosis.
  • We have also had visits from art and design programs in January, one from Milan Italy, and the other from here in Bangkok.
  • NABA is Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in various fields such Design, Fashion, and Media.
  • KMITL (King Mongkut's Institute of Technology) School of Architecture, Art, and Design showed our students how they can harness their creativity into a career with links here in Bangkok and partnerships all over the world.  

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Welcoming Our First Intern!

  • We are very pleased to welcome VERSO's first intern, Ann-Kathrin Geidel (Anca).
  • This will be Anca's fourth teaching placement.
  • Having taught in diverse educational settings, in the US, Spain, and her native Germany, Anca sought out VERSO as a school that aligns well with her growing teaching ethos.
  • Passionate about the transformative potential of project-based learning in shaping the future of education, Anca is looking forward to delving into the intricacies of a future-ready curriculum with us in Upper Loop.
  • She will be with us for 10 weeks as part of her International
  • Teaching program and her specialism is English so this Quarter she will be developing her practice and supporting our learners in Research LABs and the Future Fashion LeLAB.

Save The Dates

8-19 February: Scholarship Review (VERSO Learners)

14 February: VERSO Venture Center Coffee Morning

14 February: Appreciation Day: Learners come dressed in rainbow colors

23 February: Professional Learning Day (No School)

23 February - 1 March: Spring Break Holiday

4 March: Back to School

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By Jarret Voytilla

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