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    Today, students walked across the Seattle U campus to participate in a conversation titled “Is Hate Speech Free Speech?” Three SU professors gave them some history and shared their perspectives before fielding questions from members of the audience. It went about 90 minutes, and it was totally fascinating.

    SU 1

    Last week they took a field trip to The Progress Alliance, an organization that’s focused on created changes in our political system to make it less racist and more inclusive.

    Next week students taking a field trip to Impact Hub, an organizations of entrepreneurs and innovators who believe they can create bigger change through collaboration. They’ll be sticking around for a luncheon to hear a presentation by an organization called Amplifier, which uses art to catalyze social change.

    SU 2

    This is all part of a yearlong Humanities exploration which students examine how systems work. Today, they kicked off a three-month art project in which they’re making a 3D city that will have cardboard buildings, clay sculptures, Lego people, stencil art, videos playing on an embedded computer screen, poetry, photography, and digital design . . . all in response to the question “How do systems work to create and sustain justice and injustice?”

    SU 3

     The Math and Science department, meanwhile, just finished a unit on parabolas in which students took on old TV satellite, sanded it down, covered it in reflective paper and collected data on how it absorbs and reflects sunlight. Students at MCHS at SU are also beginning their study of quadratic functions by building a parabolic solar collector that will focus the suns rays to toast marshmallows. Students are referring to this as the "Solar Death Ray" project.

    Students in the Algebra-Physics block use an arts-based, hands-on pedagogy to make scientific and mathematical principals grounded in real world. In a recent project, students turned old TV satellites into parabolas and tracked data on reflecting light and absorbing heat.

    SU 4

    Being located on the Seattle University campus has its advantages. The university is alive with intellectual activity, and Middle College High School students are given access to public events that take place on campus. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences sponsored a community forum, in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, titled "Is Hate Speech Free Speech?" MCHS students and staff sat in the front row and heard perspectives from professors in Political Science, Media Law, and Comparative Philosophy. Students have the opportunity to participate in a mock trial. 

    Because of our arrangement with Seattle Central College, it’s possible that by the time students graduate from MCHS, they will also have a two-year college degree in addition to their high school diploma.