At the start of the 2021-22 school year, AISB created a new opportunity for students to have fun activities in school, known as “Flex Time.”
Twice a week for 45 minute blocks, students from grades 6-12 participate in a variety of activities, from study hall to dodge ball. Athletics and CCA Director David Hughes explains that it’s a time “to explore passions, try new things, and work on individual projects.”
As a new student, I was interested in this concept of Flex Time and wanted to learn more about the different options and what was happening during those blocks. That’s why I chose to join five very different activities; and here, I’m reporting on my findings.
The Brunch Club
One of those interesting and also newest activities is “The Brunch Club,” which is hosted by Mr. Sebastian Olivares (aka “Mr. Seba”). Already 27 students, from 9-10 grade, signed up for it and it is one of the most popular activities for this semester since it gives students the opportunity to learn how to cook and also to eat.
While interviewing Mr. Seba, I found out that he created this idea because he wanted to do things that he is passionate about and wanted to show his interests to other people.
“I decided to make something that involved both cooking and interaction,” says Mr. Seba.
In this activity, students learn basic cooking techniques by cooking simple recipes. Mr. Seba explains that this will help us succeed in the future by not only giving us options to cook, but also teaching us about nutrition.
To participate in this activity, students are required to bring utensils from home, including hand towels, a chopping knife, a fork, a spoon, a plastic spatula, a large serving spoon, a cutting board, two bowls (1 small, 1 medium), a frying pan and an apron (this is optional).
The Brunch Club is taking place in the cafeteria, where students sit at the tables in groups. A few meals that the students are creating in this club are breakfast burritos, Oreo cheesecake, and French toast.
Walking in the Forest
Another cool activity on my list is “Walking in the Forest” which is led by Billi Jones and Kirk McDavitt (aka “Mr. Kirk/Captain”). When Ms. Jones first came up with the idea, she wanted to create something that gets students out into nature and to find some appreciation in their down time.
“We try to walk and pay attention to all the differences in the forest and also just reconnect with friends,” says Ms. Jones.
Ms. Jones says the students get a lot of benefits, as being in nature improves their mood, helps them to be more active, and is good for their physical health. They spend about 35 minutes walking on a trail in the Beneasa Forest, starting at the main entrance right across the street from AISB.
This Flex Time activity is very popular, with almost 35 students from 6th to 8th grade signed up. And from what I could tell, they seemed to really enjoy it.
“Cool Chemistry” is led by two students from 11th grade named Altug B. and Joris Z. in the science room 423. At the beginning of the school year, both of them joined the science activity for upper secondary but quickly realized that they were the only two participants who joined.
“We realized that there is not much participation and interest in the science activities in our school and we are really passionate about encouraging students to be more interested in science activities and experiments,” says Altug B.
So they started planning out some little science activities and experiments, like creating their own air hockey pucks with CDs and balloons or rubbing different metals together and seeing the reactions. At the end of five to six weeks of planning, they started this new Flex Time activity for 6th-8th graders.
When i stopped by, all of the 17 participating students found it really fun and enjoyed doing small experiments in groups. Additionally, it seemed to have a positive impact on their education since they were learning science in a fun, hands-on way.
Open Art Studio
“Open Art Studio” was put into motion by Rocio Toral-Mancheno (aka “Ms. Rocio”) and Jane Tagg in the art rooms. In this Flex Time activity, students can work on developing skills in different artistic areas, whether that’s painting with watercolors, acrylic, or working with clay and creating sculptures.
“We thought that having Flex Time, it gives the freedom and choice for students to get better at specific skills of their own interests,” says Ms. Rocio.
This freedom of choice also has a major impact on the students since it helps them to develop their skills and lets them be creative in their own way. Many students really enjoy this concept and are having fun during this Flex Time activity.
The last activity on my list is “Current Affairs” which is headed by two students from 11th grade named Nora C. and Emma P, held in the CCA office. They first came up with the idea at the beginning of the school year when they needed a CAS project for 11th grade.
“Both of us are really interested in current affairs and things that are going on in the news. So we wanted to like bring that to younger kids,” says Emma P.
At the beginning of the activity, their plan was to talk more about current events that are happening, but since their group is a bit smaller than expected, they are catering more to what the kids are interested in. They are currently engaging in some debates and discussing controversial topics that relate to what is happening right now, like the situation in Ukraine and the use of guns in the US.
These debates help the kids in humanities classes, and also provide more interesting topics for conversation.
Are you in an interesting Flex Time activity that we didn’t mention? If so, leave a comment below to tell us all about it!