by Todd Walker
School is out for summer. Here’s a look in the rear view mirror at our first year of Project Based Learning at RISE Academy.
Our students and staff wish to thank each of you for the encouraging words, moral support, and following our journey of Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance! Below is a pictorial recap (picture-heavy) of the skills, projects, and links to more in-depth posts for those interested in learning these skills.
Cutting Tool Safety and Use
- Knife Use and Safety
- Ax Tutorial for Beginners (video below)
Outdoor Classroom Construction
Early in the school year, we decided to build an outdoor classroom. Nothing too fancy but functional for our needs. Students used math skills to square corners, learned to read a tape measure (fractions), and lashed the bamboo structure together. Their lashings held fast even through Hurricane Irma.
The Science of Fire
We have a joke around school when I’m asked, “What are we doing today?” My typical response is, “Cutting and burning stuff.” You may not get it, but fire takes center stage in the life of our outdoor classroom. Learning to use fire as a tool is paramount for outdoor living and education.
Fire by Friction
- Using a Modified Bearing Block for Bow Drill Fires
- Tips and Tricks on Hand Drill Fires
- Using Thumb Straps on Hand Drill Spindles
- Beginner’s Guide to Bow Drill
- Build a Meal Plan for Fires
Fire by Spark Ignition
Fire by Solar Ignition
Practical Tools and Crafts
Burn and Scrape Containers
This may be the most mesmerizing of all the skills students learned.
Students used Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) bark to craft traditional containers.
A simple way to introduce primitive technology to students is to make a Hoko knife. This stone cutting tool was discovered on the Hoko River archeological site in Washington State. A landslide destroyed the native fishing village about 2,700 years ago preserving artifacts of their material culture.
Pine Pitch Glue
What’s an atlatl?
A simple dart-throwing stick with a handle on one end and spur (male end) or socket (female end) on the other end. The dart, a flexible spear, mates with the spur/socket when thrown. Typically about two feet long, an atlatl employs leverage to extend the arm’s length to propel a dart further and with more velocity than when thrown using only the arm.
I’ve also created a RISE Academy Playlist on our YouTube channel. if you’d like to see our students Doing the Stuff, click on the video link below:
The things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them.
We cannot thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you’ve given our students whom you’ve never met! The full impact of this journey in experiential education may never be known. It’s difficult to quantify. But you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice.
Some of you have asked how you might help in more tangible ways. Stay tuned for updates on becoming a partner/sponsor with RISE Academy. Until then…
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…
Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!
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Photo and Video Credits: Many of the photos were taken by Mr. Chris Andrews (teacher) and various RISE students. Video footage was shot mainly by students and guided by Mr. Michael Chapman (teacher).