Eighth-Grade Recital Project

The Eighth-Grade Recital Project is a student rite of passage at Nueva. Recital 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 in the form of Quest. 

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 their parent) in the field of study
  • write a research paper (1,000 words or more) that structures knowledge of an aspect of the project and/or gives greater context for the project
  • draft a comprehensive project plan with monthly updates (this comprehensive plan teaches students project-management techniques for long-term projects)

Recital Night is a celebratory evening! Student presenters display and perform their projects while fielding questions from parents, family friends, and mentors.

Seventh-grade students meet in the spring before their eighth-grade year to begin considering Recital Projects. Students begin their projects at the start of eighth grade and work all year with the goal of completing their projects by Recital Night in April. 

Previous Recital Projects

James T. smiles while holding his perplexus.

James redesigned an already great game to include motors and electronics and many new mini golf type holes. He enclosed his game within a sphere made of plastic that is one foot in diameter.

Ananya S. poses with her poster about lead poisoning.

Ananya innovated a paper test to detect unsafe levels of lead in drinking water. Ananya initially hoped to use a strip of paper that would simply change color if lead was detected in the water it was testing. She used the chemical sodium rhodizonate to create her test.

Gabi sits in front of her computer as a student tries out her virtual reality software.

Gabi constructed a computer that runs virtual reality technology. She built this computer from individual parts. The computer ran several virtual reality programs, including the one she demonstrated at Recital Night, a virtual reality roller coaster.

Peter P. Sitting on his bench/desk.

Peter designed and built a desk that could also function as a bench. He started by creating a design with his mentor. Working in his mentor's basement, he was able to construct his final product.

Musical Fusion

Jeremy wrote, played, produced, and mastered a fusion instrumental album. He worked with his mentor to create the album and learn about the entire process, from start to finish.