This year, Marist School’s 10th grade students have explored big ideas about America, its history, literature, and culture. To celebrate this work, the students planned and organized a conference to share their learning and ideas in a unique way rather than through quizzes, tests, essays, and assessments.
Over the course of the day-long conference on March 10, students listened to an opening presentation, provocatively titled ‘What’s So Great About America?’, given by Dr. Patrick Allitt parent of Frances Allit ’06 and a professor of American History at Emory University, and then to students who gave about 80 presentations.
Students and faculty were treated to an astonishing variety of topics, ranging across such fields as sports, feminism, the blues, technology, environmental science, and conflict as well as about figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Jackie Robinson, Alexander Hamilton, Marsha P. Johnson, and Jackson Pollock.
The 10th grade students themselves managed every aspect of the conference, from scheduling, lunch, the exhibition, hosting the keynote speaker, conference program, and social media.
“A few adults deserve our thanks, of course, but let’s give credit to the students for all their hard work and enthusiasm,” said Mr. Robert Shaw-Smith, the Marist School English teacher who spearheaded the project.
Click here to watch a video of America: The Conference by Marist sophomore Madden Callahan.
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