Crossroads News

At-Home Explorers

For this year’s “deep dive” project, fourth graders ask questions about exploration.
During a year spent mostly at home, Crossroads’ fourth graders—perhaps not surprisingly—wanted to know more about exploring the unknown. The topic, selected by the students through several rounds of Council, was the focus of this year’s “deep dive” project and presented to the Elementary School community in two parts on Feb. 19 and 22.

“We didn’t know what this project would look like or feel like over Zoom,” recalled fourth-grade teacher Elizabeth Cazenave. “But as teachers, we have been just delighted to watch the wonder and the focus and the incredible curiosity of all of our fourth-grade students as they really brought this deep dive to life.”

Over the course of two weeks, the fourth graders interviewed a range of explorers, from marine biologists, archaeologists and engineers to journalists, spelunkers and even cryptozoologists. They asked questions about what motivates humans to explore; the steps to becoming an explorer; how to overcome one’s fears of the unknown; the ethics of exploration; and more.

“We wanted answers,” the students noted in their presentation. And, through their combined hard work, they got (most of) them. (The jury is still out on the existence of the Loch Ness Monster and sasquatch.) The students learned that curiosity is natural and that fame, money and the desire to help others inspire people to explore. Preparation, research, safety precautions and perseverance are key. The fourth graders also acknowledged that, while explorers didn’t always do so in the past, they need to be respectful of the places and people they are studying.

At the end of each presentation, the students reflected on their findings. “I used to think that there was so much risk in exploration, and you had to go to faraway places and have a lot of tools,” said fourth grader Layla Laiken. “But now I realize you can explore just by talking to other people and seeing how their everyday life is.”

Layla’s classmate Yemaya Chappell encouraged the audience: “Stay curious. Keep wondering. And get out there and explore!”

Finally, on behalf of the grade, Maia Heydarkhan announced, “No sasquatch were harmed in the making of this video.”

To watch the presentations, please click here. You will be asked to login with your Crossroads credentials.