The Eighth Grade Recital Project, a student rite of passage at Nueva, was established more than twenty years ago as an opportunity for students to investigate and learn about a passion of their choosing. Many students continue to pursue their Recital Project's area of interest in high school and beyond!

Students meet four times in the spring of seventh grade to begin scoping their project. In eighth grade, they attend a weekly class taught by the director of the I-Lab. Design-thinking tenets are practiced throughout the project to help students brainstorm and evaluate different options at each stage of the project.

Eighth Grade Recital Projects require students to:

  • choose a project area and make a plan.
  • recruit and meet with a mentor (an adult who is not a parent) in the field of study.
  • write a research paper (1,000 words or more) that builds knowledge of an aspect of the project and/or gives greater context for the project.
  • draft a comprehensive project plan with monthly updates to help students learn project-management techniques for long-term projects.
  • design and implement a "Bettering the World" component for the project. Generally, this falls into three categories: 1) Raise funds or using a skill to help a nonprofit organization, 2) educate others about some aspect of their project, and 3) demonstrate that the project itself somehow benefits the world.

Students present their projects on the Thursday night before spring break. Some presentations are performed on the GCC stage, and all students set up displays in the Library and I-Lab and field questions from parents, family friends, and mentors. It is a wonderful celebratory evening.

Recital Night 2015



Recital Night 2015-2

Examples of Past Recital Projects

Reversing Climate Change: Researched existing Carbon Capture technologies and other fields of Global Warming Mitigation. Developed a scalable method to capture atmospheric carbon dioxide with strong bases. Tested alternative salts for production of these strong bases.

Sustainable Architecture: Created and designed an environmentally friendly house with a complete budget.

Rocket Firing Drone: Designed, built and programmed a drone that auto-stabilizes and fires an air-to-ground rocket using an iPhone.

Alter: Wrote the first draft of Alter, a 20,000-word dystopian-fantasy hybrid novel. When exploring a subterranean labyrinth under the desert city of Daedalus, Alter discovers an icy island world in the middle of a warm sea. Interacting with primal creatures and proving his worth to them and himself, he becomes caught between worlds, the instrumental piece in plots from both sides.

Laser Harp: Designed, built, and programed a harp with lasers instead of strings.

Times for the Stock Market: Examined the effect of the New York Times on the Stock Market.

Piano Bot: Designed a robot to play the piano; composed and adapted music for it to play.

Forging-More Than Just Signatures Craftsmanship: Learned to forge as a blacksmith and made a sword.

Sea Art-Street Art with an Environmental Element: Painted street art with images of sea life, and created a website to raise awareness about the dangers our waters are facing.

Seeking Relief From Tremors – Can Stem Cells Help?: Transplanted human neural stem cells into "shiverer mice" to see whether it will cure them from their shaking.




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