Page 24 - Menlo Magazine: Summer/Fall 2018
P. 24

M Term, a new program launched last spring, brings the school year to a close with a series of immersive mini courses designed to get students out into our local and global communities. Leveraging the power of experiential learning, M Term broadens and deepens students’ understanding of their place in this world.
Freshmen participated in one of a series of classes exploring the many Californias, investigating topics such as agricultural production, coastal environmental issues, migrant workers, and the various communities and economies in our region. Through extensive field trips and experiential learning, students engaged with people from the various cultures, economies, and environments that make up our region.
The sophomore program examined themes of justice, the cycle of poverty, the common good, and what it means to be a citizen. Grouped in cohorts, students toured local schools to see how they’ve been set up to counter the opportunity gap and visited the Superior Courthouse, San Mateo or San Quentin Prison, and Delancey Street in San Francisco to better understand the criminal justice system. Students also completed community engagement projects with Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together.
The junior course offerings featured an array of team-taught, often interdisciplinary classes, ranging from bioethics to electronic music creation to an art/art history course. In “Outbreak,” students examined the biological mechanisms and cultural and political impacts of historical epidemics
like the plague and modern infections such as HIV and Zika virus. The class also explored nonbiological epidemics such
as computer viruses, viral internet memes, and “fake news.” In the Machine Learning class, students learned about tools for finding patterns in complex data, explained how machines learn, examined key applications of Artificial Intelligence, and discussed the social benefits, ethical issues, and potential problems of an AI-dominated society. In a course called “Shelter,” students explored shelter from different perspectives: historical, evolutionary, cultural, socioeconomic, and structural.
SENIORS spent M Term putting the finishing touches on their senior projects.

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