Symposium is the intensive for our Grade 6 students. Intensives are a concentrated period of study where an entire grade is working on a project or projects, with profound research and preparation, followed by a public event. These intensives are designed with Hamlin’s mission in mind, as our students meet the challenges of their time.
In Ancient Greece, a Symposium was a regular meeting where men discussed problems. Today, a symposium is a formal meeting where multiple specialists deliver short addresses on a topic.
The Symposium presented topics focused on this year’s theme empathy + knowledge= hope. The event took place at the Century Club and shared information about: personal and social identity, the concept of privilege, the partition of India, access to water in India and various countries in Africa, human trafficking, the danger of a single story, women micro-entrepreneurs and their roles in developing Africa, the Cultural Revolution, representation of women and people of color in Hollywood, the role of education, the role of propaganda in government, and globalization.
Alice shares: For our final unit, we devoted ourselves to creating today’s show. Individually, we considered the many topics we could go into greater depth about, and we got sorted into our small groups with a specific presentation format to follow. We studied our kind of presentation, making sure we understood the ways that song lyrics or PSA imagery or a 21/20 episode are strongest and have greatest impact. We researched our topic in depth, and we put together a draft of our presentation. Next, we revised and revised our work — and then reconsidered and revised it some more.
Whitney shares: We also practiced the songs, made the artwork, created the videos, built the slideshow, wrote invitations, created the 1-sheets, put together the program, wrote reflective letters to our personal guests, and wrote these introductions to give you context — oh, and we read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in our spare time! And suffice it to say, we rehearsed a lot. The highlight of the Symposium unit for me was the way our entire grade came together to put on something that spotlights our voices and what we have to say about our world.
Watch this spoken word piece from the event: