The Learning Edge
Clonlara Students Find Ways to Explore Their Passions
By April Huard, Off-Campus and Online Team Leader
The past school year proved to be unpredictable and abnormal in many ways, but one thing that did not change was the inspiring, far-reaching work of Clonlara students around the world.
Although travel, sports, and activities were canceled due to COVID-19, our students continued to explore their passions, learn new skills, and share their talents with others. No matter their age, location, or field of study, they were able to continue their learning.
Below are some of the amazing accomplishments of Clonlara’s Class of 2020.
Making the Most of Your Time
Senior year at Clonlara offered William H. from New Jersey the hundreds of hours he needed to devote to various coding and app development projects. He has several new web and mobile apps in the works, and one of his first is currently available to both students and adults.
GrindClock is a productivity timer designed to allow optimal work and rest periods. William’s idea for the app was based on a cutting-edge behavioral research study that found the optimal work/rest sequence to be 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest.
The web app is particularly helpful for children and adults who exhibit symptoms of ADD/ADHD, but it can be used by anyone who wants a timer to maximize the efficiency of their work time. William offers GrindClock in both an adult version with a relaxing background of moving clouds and a kid-friendly version with a cool space background.
Building a Hydroponic Garden
During his last year at Clonlara, Patrick F. from Kerala, India, integrated his lifelong interests in geology, astrophysics, biology, and environmental sustainability into an ambitious culminating project in hydroponics. He began with some guiding questions: What is the history behind this method of growing? What are the benefits? Is it possible to grow inside and outside? Is sunlight important? Do the plants grow at a different rate than grown in soil?
Those questions directed his research and then eventually the construction of his own hydroponic garden. Throughout the project, Patrick learned to improvise, to use materials that were available to him, and to allow time for mistakes. He shares his work in this short video.
Pursuing a Passion for Music
Chloe D. from Massachusetts is an American composer and soprano. She is also an accomplished pianist. A synesthete, Chloe sees sound as color and uses music to paint what she sees. She has performed many of her own songs, and writes for all instruments, including voice. Her most recent works have included a piano trio for the Rivers School Conservatory’s Seminar on Contemporary Music and a string quartet performed as part of the summer program at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Chloe’s senior Capstone Project gave her the opportunity to broaden her understanding of opera by exploring different operatic techniques and structures. In order to do this, she analyzed some of the most well-known operatic works of famous composers and learned how to structure her own opera, which included outlining and drafting her characters, writing the libretto, and crafting themes.
Visit Chloe’s website to enjoy her compositions and hear her perform!