Upper Loop Updates - Quick Updates on Specialty Labs!

Upper Loop Updates - Quick Updates on Specialty Labs!

By Jarret Voytilla / September 01, 2023 / Upper Loop Updates, Learning Designers

We have a few exciting updates to share with the community this week from our amazing team of Learning Designers.

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We have a few exciting updates to share with the community this week from our amazing team of Learning Designers.



Overnight BTW Trips

Family ConVERSOs

  • Family conVERSOs in the UL will commence on September 20
  • This is later than last year so that we can develop a more holistic profile of your learner
  • We will be shifting our conVERSO format to favor online conVERSOs to make it easier for families to connect with Learning Designers.
  • This will also allow us to keep the teaching and learning continuous across the week.
  • Face to face conVERSOs are still available for families that are able to commute to campus.
  • ConVERSOs will be spread out over many days which will allow for longer and deeper conversations for those families that have specific questions or concerns.
  • A survey will be sent out to families soon to measure where your conVERSO interests are.
  • More details to come!

Coffee Morning

  • You are all invited to The UniVERSOtea Morning on Wednesday 6 September, 8:00am-9:00am to meet with Greg Mason, our Career and University Guidance Counselor who will provide insights into the current university admissions landscape around the world and share how he is supporting learners through the university admissions process.
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Quick Updates on Specialty Labs!

Math Lab!

  • Algebra is continuing their work on visualizing Arithmetic and Geometric sequences before writing recursive equations and explicit equations.

  • They had their first opportunity to provide independent evidence and are continuing to find the value in checking for their own understanding.

  • Geometry is wrapping up unit 1 on rigid transformation.

  • They are still building their foundational vocabulary which will be critical for the remainder of the academic year.

  • When possible, they use transformations to define and explain new vocabularies such as angle and segment bisectors.

  • Next, week they will be providing evidence of their understanding through flip grids and conversations. 

  • In Algebra 2 we’ve entered the wonderful world of logarithms!

Research Lab!

 VERSO verdict: Mock Trial Challenge

  • Grade 9 delivered excellent pitches on what they believe the world needs more of and have voted on their most convincing idea.
  • Don delivered a very persuasive pitch with strong evidence to support his case and the topic for our upcoming mock trial will be on delicious and nutritious food.
  • This week they have been developing their knowledge and skills for the courtroom learning the different roles, key terminology, and the pros and cons of different types of evidence.
  • Now that they have formed two teams, prosecution, and defense, they are ready to start researching their case on “Murray V. Belvita in the matter of labeling their belVita breakfast biscuits as “nutritious” despite high levels of added sugar content.” 


  • Grade 10 learners have formed their thesis statements by answering the following questions:

    How will emerging technologies and changing habits influence the way we read in the future?”

  • They have evaluated their research and are completing their well-structured essay plans ready to commence writing next week.
  • This will inform the next part of the project where they put their findings into actionable change.   

 VERTEX project

  • Grade 12s “Experts-in-the-Making” series has commenced and the learners are not only refining their detailed research to engage an audience but learning from each other in a collaborative environment.
  • We have already seen significant progress between sessions as learners respond to the feedback given by both their peers and LDs. 

 Power Hour with Coach Joe and Coach Thomas

  • Learners are mid cycle through their “baseball” unit.
  • All have worked on basic agility and progressed focused on listening and sight.
  • Agility is a transferable skill that each learner will be asked to reflect on at the end of the unit.
  • The natural progression of individual skills toward throwing mechanics and batting has started.
  • The next step will be team strategy and play.

uniVERSOlly Well

  • This week the Grade 9-12 students continued their exploration of their identities by taking the Big Five Personality test.
  • Grade 11’s sought out universities that matched their own values.
  • The Grade 12’s began working on their digital profiles which will summarize their learning and extra-curricular activities over their high school career. 
  • We are starting to schedule university visits to VERSO and starting in September we will have representatives coming during the school day.
  • If you want to come learn as well, you are welcome to join.
  • As visits are finalized, we will send out the details for attendance.

G9 Science Foundations

  • This week the Grade 9's wrapped up their first Chemistry units on Atomic Structure and the amazing Chemical Properties of Water.
  • Next week we will begin the next unit on Stoichiometry, and learn about chemical reactions balancing equations.... and some lab experiments

Learning Labs

1. Fab Lab

  • This week in Fablab, our learners embarked on an enriching field trip to Folkcharm Studio, where they had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of traditional Thai fabric creation.
  • They were treated to an insightful studio tour and discussion, gaining a deep understanding of the intricate process by which Thai women craft and color fabrics using all-natural, plant-based materials and dyes.
  • They also delved into the diverse range of products that the skilled artisans produce and distribute across Thailand.
  • Continuing their adventure, the learners strolled through a bustling market, where they explored a myriad of fabric shops showcasing an array of textiles and their respective end products.
  • Engaging with the merchants, they learned about the origins of these textiles, the various fabrics employed in crafting different items, and the rationale behind their choice of materials.
  • To wrap up their excursion, the learners ventured to China World, where they encountered an extensive array of fabrics and engaged in enlightening discussions with vendors.
  • This immersive experience served as a crucial foundation for the learners, who will draw upon these newfound insights to make informed decisions about the types of fabrics they wish to incorporate into their final project.
  • Back in the loop, they also kicked off their workshop series with a hands-on session in linocut/block printmaking.
  • During this engaging workshop, learners focused on two key aspects:
  • First, honing their skills in developing symbols and designs that resonated with the cultural themes they had chosen;
  • and second, understanding and implementing safety measures to mitigate potential hazards when handling a variety of materials.

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2. F.E.A.R.

(Functional Emotional Animated Robotics)

  • The FEAR Lab has been challenging learners with their understanding of mechanisms and power.
  • The past weeks have seen learners expand their initial simple ‘blinking eye’ mechanisms explored in earlier weeks with more complex motions, linkage assemblies, and electronic circuitry plans.
  • This week specifically, the ideas of ‘series’ and ‘parallel’ circuitry were explored, and how this can be supported in multi-motor applications to demonstrate the emotions of their intended robotic builds.
  • As a means to better understand emotions, the learners also spent time visiting KMITL’s Architecture, Art & Design (AAD) Department, where they learned about the demonstration of emotions in products with Dr. Pwinn, Head of Industrial Design.
  • Learners were also able to get a tour of the department which took them to see Architecture, Urban Planning, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Communication Arts, and Fine Arts Departments.
  • As they wrap the week up, learners are now working towards drafting initial iterations of their final builds, beginning to understand the engineering challenges their ideas may present.

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G9 Minilab!

  • This week learners embarked on a solo bridge design and build.  
  • Using the software Bridge Designer 2016 learners were able to test their ideas and explore the physics of bridges before committing to a build.  
  • This week's build was made of skewers and hot glue.
  • A great variety of designs and styles were showcased which gave learners an opportunity to see how different structures and construction styles affect bridge dynamics.
  • Our next weeks will focus on a group design and build for a full-sized bamboo bridge.

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By Jarret Voytilla