In 8th grade English class, students tackled the questions: “What does it mean to be an American in the 21st century?” Their capstone project was to formulate a thesis and create a monument for the 21st century based on their thesis. As part of their research, the students interviewed different individuals – such as expatriates, naturalized citizens, veterans, civic activists, and first generation Americans - who might be able to offer some important insights into this question. Their discussions were thoughtful and raised important questions about citizenship, nationality, and culture - among other things.
Students then took what they’d learned from conducting their oral interviews and use that information to design and erect their monuments. Each model was accompanied by a design statement explaining the symbolism in the materials, artistic, and structural elements used – as well as their hopes for what the piece should communicate to viewers.
Being an American in the 21st Century Monuments
The monument on display here was created by Nicki K. '20. On her piece she says:
" (The steel rods connecting colored balls) ... symbolizes the connection between everyone, and how despite diversity, we still come together as citizens of the United States ... The culminating sculpture isn't organized or symmetrical, but deliberately random. This is so as you walk around it, what you see shifts and changes. As I discuss in my reflection, this is to explore not only changing views because of diversity, but diverse changing views on what it means to be an American."