FlexFriday Lives On ... Online!

Kristin Taveira
Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the FlexSchool model. So every Friday -- or as we call it, FlexFriday -- our students get out of the classroom and into the world, to make meaningful real-world connections through activities such as field trips, service days and visiting speakers. 

We are happy to report that even in the age of social distancing, FlexSchool has continued to provide this wonderful program on our cloud campus, where our students engage in real time with live guides, instructors and industry professionals, and enjoy fully interactive learning experiences every single week.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the exciting events we’ve held since FlexSchool went online:

Live studio tour with artist Gavin Watson
FlexSchool students took an exciting virtual journey across the Atlantic to the remote English village of Northumberland, where award-winning British painter Gavin Watson gave a live tour of his art studio. Northumberland -- a region at the northernmost tip of England bordering Scotland -- is known for small industrial cities and vast stretches of untouched countryside. Students learned how this contrast between factory and country life has inspired Gavin’s art, which reflects a distinct perspective that questions the relationship between man, animals and the landscape. 

Developing an Offensive Mindset 
In this fascinating three-week series, FlexSchool students learned that there’s an art and science to the attack! Topics included the ways space and time shape conflict, how to use models to analyze and defeat obstacles, and the shifting nature of conflict on the newest battlefield -- cyberspace -- where hackers, criminals, and nation states may exploit any vulnerability available to achieve their goals.  

3D Design with MacInspires
FlexSchool students spent an afternoon learning to create their own 3D designs during a real-time lesson with live MacInspires instructors. Students were challenged to create original architectural and landscaping designs using 3D modeling software. By the end of their session, they’d produced an amazingly creative array of designs, from garages to houses to elaborate roofline designs, and artful landscapes dotted with thoughtfully arranged plantings. The activity was so engaging that students didn’t want to stop when the session ended. They were invited to continue working for free and send their designs to the instructor!

The World of Animation with Cameron Kraus
A children’s animation such as Disney’s Tots may look simple, but it takes a lot of people and a lot of steps to produce! Cameron Kraus, a producer at Titmouse Animation, works on Tots, as well as several other series, including Hanazuki, Goldie & Bear and Bellmaster 9009. Cameron invited FlexSchool students into the world of animation, to learn about all the different professionals who contribute to a show like Tots -- including storyboard artists, designers, editors, props artists, riggers and modelers. Then he shared his professional advice, insider tips and practical steps to take -- such as colleges to consider, software to learn and skills to master -- for students who want to pursue these exciting careers.

Cyber-Security That Everyone Does with John Sebes
Nearly everyone uses tech routinely, including depending on tech for what are now essentials. What do you depend on? Have you thought about a problem that you could have if the tech you depend on has some problems? Including problems from mischief, malice, or fraud? The cyber-security that everyone does is a mindset that starts with those questions, and continues with clear thinking about assets (what you depend on), risks (what could happen to them), consequence (what would happen to you), options for reducing risk, and how to choose among options. It’s a mindset and skill that’s increasingly relevant not just for individuals as consumers, but also for many parts of the workforce, increasingly so.