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Class of 2015

Updating ePortfolios

posted May 8, 2015, 11:03 AM by   [ updated May 8, 2015, 11:26 AM ]

It's that time of year again: the time when we collect everything we've done and put it on our websites! This is very special one, since we need to pack everything up to take with you when you graduate. 

To start, here's a list of projects we did this year in the lab. We can start by adding some of these to our site:

What are some other projects or activities you might want to hold on to?

Religion Research Project

Cover Photo

posted May 8, 2015, 11:01 AM by   [ updated May 8, 2015, 11:01 AM ]

Your assignment is to design a magazine cover that characterizes where you see yourself in 20 years.  This should demonstrate success in a career path that you find compelling. Here is a (silly) example:


Your design must consist of a minimum of:
  •  two photo layers:
    • A picture of you (your face must be recognizable)
    • A background
  • some text explaining your future position
Your design must be submitted as a JPG or PDF.  Photoshop, Word, or Pages files will not be accepted.


Here is a video series on Photoshop skills that you will need.  It walks through a different project, but the ideas are the same:


  1. Determine what future career you might like to pursue. Try to find a magazine that typically features people in that field. For example, a scientist might be featured on Scientific American.
  2. Find an image to use as your background. DO NOT USE AN EXISTING MAGAZINE COVER. Instead, use an image of a person at work. The image should be large enough to be sharp at letter paper size. Try to use a picture with angles, shadowing, and skin tone you can match.
  3. Create a new Photoshop file. Set the canvas to 8.5x11 inch letter size. Name it "<your number> magazine cover."
  4. Copy the background into your Photoshop file.
  5. Take a picture of yourself, matching as best you can the angle and shading of the background image.
  6. Copy your image into the Photoshop file.
  7. Use the quick select tool and eraser to remove any unwanted parts of the picture of you. Resize the image to match the background.
  8. Copy from the background layer anything that needs to go in front of your face: hair, clothing, props. Paste it into a new layer and bring that layer in front of the picture of you.
  9. Use the text tool to create the title and other text of the magazine cover.
  10. Export your work by using "save for web." Save it as a JPEG or PDF.

My life in 2015

posted Apr 24, 2015, 11:15 AM by   [ updated May 8, 2015, 12:03 PM ]

2009-06-09 Vimeo Weekend Project - Self Portrait - 100% from Adam Dachis on Vimeo.

For our final project this year, we're going to create a "Self-Portrait" like this: one that doesn't actually show your face. Instead, it will show your family, friends, activities, and the things you value in life. It is meant to be a first-person

First, let's note some of the features of this video.

Next, let's plan out what would be included in the 2-3 second clips that will make up our video.

If you film on another iOS device, I suggest using Simple Transfer to copy videos over to your iPad for editing.


April 24th - Start Filming

May 15th - Rough Draft compiled

May 22nd - Video submitted

Personal Brands

posted Mar 27, 2015, 11:41 AM by   [ updated Mar 31, 2015, 11:39 AM ]

You've been learning about advertising strategies, and how they're used by companies to sell you stuff. Much of what companies try to do is develop a "brand;" a set of values or ideas that come to mind when people think about a company or its projects. You may not have realized yet that you can use some of those same strategies to develop your own personal brand.

Assignment 1: Identifying your values

  • List your top 6 values. Values are the ideas you want your brand to promote.
  • Reflect on the ways your social media presence does or does not represent those values. You should write a minimum of 250 words.
  • Describe your personal brand in 3-4 sentences. These should be like poetry, evoking feelings about you and your values.

Assignment 2: Design a Text-Based Logo

The Graphic Design Problem: Your client (Mr. Dreyfus-Pai) would like you to design a type based personal logo.  The logo will incorporate text and relate your name to art or graphic design.  Imagine you are a graphic designer or artist and you need to create a logo to go on your business cards, letter head, and website.


For this project you will need to produce a page of brain storming ideas, as well as a page of thumbnails.  Of the thumbnails you like best you will produce rough drawings to work out the details.

You will print at least three versions of your logo on 8.5″x11″ paper,  there will be no printing within a 1/2″ of the edge of the paper to account for the printer.  Your versions will show that your logo is effective without the use of color, scaleable (1″x1″), and also uses color effectively, and also works well on a dark background as well as a light background.  You may also incorporate other elements to your design such as a border, descriptive type, or additional versions.

The Research:

Look at the Logo Pond for a variety of logo ideas or Logo Lounge for thoughts on the latest logo trends.

Some other resources are:, a place where you can find thousands of different font types, download them to your computer, install them and use them in your logo design.

Graphic Designer David Airey has some good rules of thumb for logo design.  Check out some of David’s thumbnail sketches.  Check out his portfolio of logos he includes a link to his design process sketches and brain storms.  I expect you to sketch out several different ideas for your logo before working on the computer.  He also has some great tips to making an excellent logo.

Did I mention sketching is how you need to develop your logo ideas before using the computer?

As David says:

  1. A logo must be describable
  2. A logo must be memorable
  3. A logo must be effective without colour
  4. A logo must be scalable i.e. effective when just an inch in size


Begin to brain storm ideas you have about your personal logo design.  Begin by writing lists of things you are interested in, your family heritage, personal interests, favorite colors, favorite animals, birth sign, or anything that represents you.  Write down all of your ideas, bad ones and good ones.


After you have come up with a page of ideas begin to turn these words into images.  This will become a page full of thumbnail sketches which convert your ideas into images.  Once you have developed several ideas into images choose the ones you like best and draw them larger as roughs.

Then Compute:

Once you have some work on paper created you are ready to turn your roughs into vectored artwork.  Begin by creating your logo without color, use only black, gray or white.  This will help make it effective without color.  Once your design is complete then you will incorporate color.

It's π Day!!!!!!! (almost)

posted Mar 13, 2015, 11:06 AM by   [ updated Mar 13, 2015, 2:15 PM ]

In this lesson we'll use SketchUp and a special plugin to unroll a cylinder and make sense of 2πr2 + 2πrh.

Understanding Advertising

posted Mar 6, 2015, 10:08 AM by   [ updated Mar 6, 2015, 10:08 AM ]

If you're having trouble with the game, try the text version which covers just the content.

Ralph and Jack Tweet

posted Jan 30, 2015, 1:12 PM by   [ updated Jan 30, 2015, 1:12 PM ]

Part of reading literature is understanding the viewpoints of all the characters. In order to show how well you understand the characters of Ralph and Jack from Lord of the Flies, you're going to create a twitter stream of their experiences on the island.

  1. Create a Google Doc. Name it your number and "Ralph and Jack Tweets"
  2. Open
  3. Create your twitter conversation by using their names, avatars, etc. Copy your text from Google Docs in order to save and edit it.

Infographics: Democracy vs. Republic

posted Jan 30, 2015, 8:17 AM by   [ updated Jan 30, 2015, 8:17 AM ]

Infographics are great for explaining difficult concepts. Here's a real tricky one: what's the difference between a democracy and a republic?


  • Power rests in the people as a group
  • Absolute rule of the majority: few protections for minority groups or opinions
  • No limits on what the government can do
  • Two Types:
    • Direct Democracy: Citizens vote directly on laws
    • Representative Democracy: citizens vote for representatives who vote on laws


  • Power rests with individuals
  • The power of the government is limited
  • Power divided between three branches
  • Representatives of each branch elected to limited terms

Use Piktochart to create your infographic, comparing and explaining the two forms of government.

Slavery Footprints

posted Jan 9, 2015, 1:16 PM by   [ updated Jan 9, 2015, 1:16 PM ]

Hour of Code

posted Dec 12, 2014, 12:49 PM by   [ updated Dec 12, 2014, 12:49 PM ]

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries!

1. Watch this video:

2. Go to this page and try the Frozen activity. Work all the way through it! Don't switch activities! Be persistent! Programming is all about problem solving!

3. When you finish, drag and drop your certificate to your desktop. Then try out the LightBot activity or Scratch.

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