On May 22, students at both Quest Forward Academies in Omaha and Santa Rosa participated in the 2019 Gallery Walk, the first such event of its kind. This virtual event, held as a real-time video conference, provided students with the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the artifacts they produced this year. The Gallery Walk connected the two Academy campuses, bringing together students, mentors, Opportunity Education team members (curriculum directors, managers, and quest designers), as well as other interested guests.
Students presented the artifacts they created and talked about the skills associated with each artifact. Not only did they represent a wide array of subjects and interests, but they also practiced and demonstrated their creative abilities and communication skills. Each Academy selected 10-12 students to present within a specific time frame. Because Academy students are at the core of the Opportunity Education mission, this event provided a forum for students to come into contact with the wider OE community and to celebrate their accomplishments.
“As I was watching this live, the quality of the work the students were showing was striking to me. Really impressive for 9th and 10th graders. Just as impressive, I think, was their ability to articulate why they produced their artifacts — why they chose to do what they did. They are mature, confident, capable presenters at 9th and 10th grade. They were reflective about their own strengths and limitations, spoke to how they could grow further and revise their work product to be even better, and talked about the habits and skills they gained while creating this work. It was incredible to see.”
– Manuel Mattke, President and COO, Opportunity Education
Lining the Halls
The hallways and classrooms of Quest Forward Academy Omaha are lined with student artifacts. Mentor Jennifer Dalbey says of the ever-evolving gallery, “The posted artifacts serve two purposes: The first is to demonstrate the kind of unique work our students perform at the school, and, since we are on a college campus, we [wanted to have] student work visible to those passing by. Second, we want students to be inspired by others’ work, and it helps students see exemplary work.” There is a space for every subject in the hallway: pottery from art, essays and persuasive advertisements from English, informative posters and slideshows from Social Sciences, documented experiments from Science, and posters that demonstrate the application of Math in the real world. This space is a visual celebration of student growth and learning.