The McPherson community had the opportunity Saturday to see first-hand what middle and high school students have learned this semester.
Those enrolled in the district's Bullpup Scholars class set up demonstrations of their work and fostered come-and-go public interactions. The elective class, new this semester, gives self-driven students the opportunity to choose their area of study and learn at their own pace.
“This is really exciting,” said Sheri Nakai, Bullpup Scholars co-teacher with Paul Carver.
“Look at all the energy they have. They're eager for people to talk to them and see what they've done.”
Various locations showcased the three umbrellas of study the class offers: Crime scene investigation, Destination Imagination, and movie production. Each student was free to choose any path of study that related to these three.
Those in movie production showed their short films at the McPherson Opera House. Themes included friendship, archaeology, survival and kidnapping. Filming styles consisted of stop-motion and documentary style, among others.
Senior Shasta Steinert and sophomore Jackson Wingert created a film about a man in a coma who was forced to come to terms with his own mortality.
“I feel a sense of accomplishment because I've never made a movie before, and it turned out a lot better than I thought it would,” Steinert said.
“It's a sense of pride, like, 'That's ours,'” Wingert said of the public watching his film. “That feels exciting.”
At The Well, students presented their creative works, which included story writing, screenplays and project designs.
Rilynn Anderson, Kellsie Corrigan and Claire Wiens created a miniature recreation of the Aurora, Colo., shooting in June.
“We liked this class because we had the freedom to do whatever type of project we wanted,” Wiens said. “And we're all creative, so we were wanting to do something that was creative, but had significance to the world around us.”
At the Bank of America Building, four Destination Imagination teams were given two unrehearsed challenges. Using problem solving in a matter of minutes, they had to work together to compile a skit and complete an instant challenge using limited supplies.
Connie Grennan came to watch her son participate.
“I'm really excited about it because they've been working on this for the whole semester,” she said, adding her son has enjoyed the class.
At The Village Geek, crime scene investigation teams were given three new crimes they had never seen before and were challenged to be the first one to solve it. Labs included bite imprinting, facial reconstruction, DNA and footprinting.
Jeff Crist, whose daughter has become a fingerprinting expert, enjoyed seeing her work up close.
“It actually gives me a visual,” he said. “Normally when she comes home and explains what they're doing, you can kind of visualize it, but it helps to fully understand what they're doing and how in- depth they get with the research or whatever it is they're studying.
“It gives them the satisfaction by letting people see their work and not just the satisfaction of a grade.”
Bullpup Scholars is a class aimed to further advance the district's Citizenship, College and Career Readiness initiative.