Passion Projected: Soder’s Juniors and their Projects

And the students chose.


The layout of the slideshow, which includes a window with a cityscape in view. And a silhouette’s arm!

Jessica Velcheck, Bear Hub Staff

After winter break came to a close and students dusted off their Canvas accounts, a certain English 11 course would take something of a detour into new territory. Now, as winter proceeds to a chilly conclusion, various works of emotional effort stand in an online gallery for the school to see. Mrs. Soder’s juniors put time and energy into crafting passion projects of their own direction.


When one clicks on the link, the webpage displays a clean presentation that can either be manually scrolled or played automatically, shifting through a three-dimensional plane that resembles a physical art gallery. Silhouettes of people pose about as you glide past them to observe whatever project is framed. Sometimes, an arm remains in the screen’s view. They’re all mask-free in public, a concept that bizarre now. This neatly organized presentation uses clean lighting and ambiance to show off the various works in the virtual frames. Each picture is clickable, taking the visitor to a website hosting the project and all of its contents. Each one is informative and well-made.

The inspiration to give students this task came in the winter. “Teaching remotely during the 2nd quarter was really challenging,” says Mrs. Soder, teacher of English 11 courses. “It’s harder now to keep students engaged, so I wanted to do something that would allow them an opportunity to research and read and write about the things that mattered the most to them. I asked them ‘what do you want’ for the new year and they said ‘group work’ so I put those two things together. I wanted to do a group project that had a lot of student choice.”

And the students chose. With the freedom of subjects their passions guided them, and resulted in the labors of love proudly on showcase. Organized into general subjects: Music, Cooking, Art & Animation, Special Interests, Fashion & Beauty, Health and, Fitness, Sports, and Technology & Innovations. Many of these projects took the form of podcasts, such as Rap Connoisseurs by Armaan Behal and Izek Abreu-Feliciano, where they talk about the current giants of the rap genre and what makes them unique. The podcast format was one of the most popular, for its versatility in expressing creativity.

The logo for the Rap Connoisseurs podcast, giving a nightclub type of imagery.

It’s not all podcasts, though. And it’s just as much vital information as it is fun topics. Important information and aid resources are given at Consent Class with 3 Chix, a website crafted by Maya Ayad, Clara Tadrous, and Alice Dmitriev. Informing about consent laws, emergency resources and statistics, these students displayed their passion about this particular section of feminism and activism. The passion of each student could be serious or lighthearted- whatever it was, each student’s drive culminated into well-designed websites, podcasts, videos, whatever was fancied.

Sometimes, just a chunk of class can be devoted to a more student-directed initiative, and Mrs. Soder’s English 11 class put the time and effort into passion projects worthy of all kinds of display.