Winchester Thurston School

  • We have found that stories matter; the stories we tell of our past shape our collective understanding of American identity, inclusion, and belonging. We hope to contribute to this collection of American stories, and in doing so, to create a broader understanding of what it means to be an American.
    Callie Gropp, History Teacher, Winchester Thurston School

IRL Labs has collaborated with Winchester Thurston’s history department on several different projects. We have worked closely with Upper School History teacher Callie Gropp to integrate creative programming into her class objectives and curriculum.

Spring 2017: 10th graders in American History class used SimpleVR as a storytelling tool to illustrate oral histories recorded by the students. The projects encouraged students to create a small window into the lives of the Pittsburgh residents they interviewed in hopes that the stories they shared would resonate with other residents and help spread shared ideas of belonging. The goal of this project was to complement their class work focused on developing a deeper understanding of the ways in which identity shapes experience.

2017-18: Ninth graders created their own personal stories using SimpleVR to learn about the power of narrative and perspective in history.

Winter 2018: IRL Labs conducted a one day workshop for prospective high school students to create a one room story based on the prompt: “In order to live in an equitable world we must …” Students integrated quotes from social justice leaders, photographs from historic and contemporary social movements, and captured a 360 holding a placard with a finished prompt.