DTLA Maker Faire
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Project Focus: Boards Across Borders

How can we make a difference in the lives of teens who are going through the refugee, migrant, immigrant experience?

Da Vinci Design 9th grade students used this question as a lens in each of their classes to study the lives and journeys of people going through these experiences. Students read novels and studied various groups of people who have gone through the refugee, migrant, immigrant experience in their English classes and then interviewed an immigrant in Spanish class to gain first-hand knowledge about the type of journey that they made. Students used this knowledge to create artwork to answer the question: “How can we use art to influence our views and understanding of the world?”

board across boarders

Students then painted their artwork on the bottom of skateboards that they made from scratch in their physics class, while learning the physics and engineering of skateboarding. Lastly, the students used their math knowledge to create sales proposals for the price of the skateboards and predicted the profits that DVD could donate to their chosen non-profit.

As a culminating activity, Da Vinci Design students got to showcase their work last weekend at the DTLA Maker Faire where they ended up selling 13 skateboards and raising $1,570. The remaining 21 skateboards will be donated to a group of teens in a shelter for unaccompanied youth who have recently arrived to the country.

Da Vinci Design partnered with South Bay Sk8 Kids where the students all learned how to skateboard before starting the project. Dwindle Distribution hosted a visit to a skateboarding gallery where students learned from their artists. Staff members from the non-profit Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) gave a guest talk to our students about the work they do with immigrants coming from Central America. Da Vinci Design will be donating all profits from the sales of the skateboards, as well as the remaining skateboards, to CARECEN.

This project showcases many of Da Vinci’s signature practices, including interdisciplinary project-based learning, engaging with professional partners, real world learning, teamwork and collaboration, and much more.

For more information and to view photos, click here.

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