THE OUR ROCK PROJECT
Our Rock Project defines science and art as adventures with a global purpose. By integrating the art of filmmaking into the components of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, Our Rock Project takes students outside the walls of the classroom into the boundless limits of their world.
Our Rock Project offers a unique STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education program for middle and high school children around the world. Students choose a STEAM topic that is of interest to them personally, and as part of their research they are responsible for contacting professionals and experts whom they interview for their four to six minute documentaries. The students assume responsibility for developing their own scripts, recording the voice-overs, producing their musical scores and then editing the final films. We provide computers and software and most of the students use their phones for filming, but a camera is provided if needed.
Since its inception just a couple of years ago, more than 500 children have participated in the project and have had the opportunity to meet scientists from National Institute of Health, geologists from U.S. Geological Survey, numerous administrators and hydrologists working on local water supplies as well as local organic farmers and food specialists. The students met these professionals and visited the actual facilities in which the work is being accomplished… allowing them to document a first-person account.
To further the mission of Our Rock Project, we intend to focus on three main initiatives:
Growing the Our Rock Project Virtual Video Library. An important component of the project where the final documentaries are made available to classrooms globally, the Our Rock Project Library provides students with a platform to share their work with peers and anyone who is interested in learning about their chosen topic. We encourage and help facilitate communication between classrooms from around the world where children can expand upon what they’ve learned from watching the films made by other students. Teachers also incorporate the films into their curriculum and utilize the films as teaching tools. With this accessibility, we open the door for children in other countries to learn and grow through the films produced by their peers. Our Rock Project’s ultimate goal is to create an archived educational tool accessible globally on-line to educators and parents. Currently we have several hundred films in the library and we offer schools to become members of our library so that students around the world creating video content and sharing with students around the world!
Production of the Animation Film of “Galapagos – Sharing the Rock,” A children’s feature length animated story created to define and market the vision of Our Rock Project, “Galapagos: Our Rock” is a story about ingenuity, determination, and hope – as two Ecuadorian green iguanas and a South American Chaco tortoise are caught in a violent storm and are uprooted from their beautiful and peaceful home in the rain forest. They begin a harrowing 600 mile journey to the Galapagos Islands where they encounter, and learn to live with different creatures and they begin a new life, acclimating to a new region and different culture. Throughout their arduous journey, an environment of cooperation is created based on respect. “Galapagos – Sharing the Rock” reflects the ultimate “community” story, demonstrating the value of working together for the common good. Proceeds will help fund the Our Rock Project non-profit global outreach. This film is currently in the first phase of development with final script to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Publishing a series of three illustrated children’s books based on the Galapagos storyline. The first book will follow the storyline of the film, the second book picks up with the three lead characters and their new refugee friends landing on a new island where they discover they are not alone and must navigate sinister forces that threaten their existence and the existence of the other indigenous population. Through pure camaraderie, our three friends and their island castaways work together to save each other and share the one rock on which they live.
The third story is the is tale of resilience, of going home, back to where our three friends started – the Amazon forest of the western Andes, which is now being destroyed by human inhabitants. Drawing upon their experience from the islands, our three friends gather the jungle creatures together with a common goal to save their homeland.
“Galapagos – Sharing the Rock ,” the film and book series, will serve as marketing tools for Our Rock Project, both sharing similar messages since Our Rock Project embraces the philosophy that getting to know each other on a more personal basis will inevitably lead to a greater sense of caring, giving and understanding about each other and the rock we all share called Earth.
Documentary film making is an all-encompassing art form that requires the production team to artistically combine the disciplines of film, photography, graphic arts, music and creative writing, students work as teams with common goals of producing informative and entertaining documentary films. Students draw upon their creative talents through writing the scripts, developing the graphics, and creating the musical score that underlies the narrative dialogue of the films.
The need for informal science education has never been greater. Study after study ranks the United States among the least scientifically literate among industrialized nations. Our Rock Project is a highly effective vehicle for conducting informal science education and working with an overburdened and under-resourced formal education system. We have convincingly demonstrated our ability to attract participants, and to forge alliances with school districts to greatly strengthen the STEAM education infrastructure.
We also believe that effective communication is a skill that is required in most every profession; and that a person’s success in their chosen field can be directly linked to their ability to present an idea or concept in an informative and creative manner. Therefore our students are asked to find a balance between critical and creative writing that both informs and entertains their audience.
Our Rock Project acknowledges that the earlier a student is engaged in science and the arts that are interactive and thought-provoking, the more effective they will be as life-long learners. We provide STEAM education activities in an informal environment where learning is broader than formal schooling, and personal experiences often play a crucial role.
We are excited about the impact Our Rock Project, and associated initiatives will have on our participating students. Thank you in advance for sharing our enthusiasm. We are seeking Corporate Partners and Foundation Donors to further our mission and to offer this into Title 1 Schools.
The Our Rock Project Partnership
As the struggle for equality and inclusion in these communities continue, the Our Rock Project will strive to effectively organize and mobilize outreach so that the Our Rock Project will be a part of the classroom curriculum or as an after school and/or summer program. Together through our partnership we can maximize our advocacy, strength, and reach. Powered by a partnerships we can facilitate community organizing and collaborative strategies.
Programs for learning are the social services safety net for many as well as they are also the primary engines for local organizing. Now more than ever, it is critical to maximize our grassroots strength. We are eager to grow the network and mobilize on a local and national level. Together we can offer this to other areas across the country in 2018.
We seek support for the continued development of The Our Rock Project as a strong, sustainable and unified movement. The fundamental goals of Our Rock mission on a grassroots level is to teach and to offer an engaging way to learn while helping to help build the capacity of the students.
Partnership Program Elements:
- Corporate Partners across the country
- Together we will maximize the facilitation of The Our Rock Project into Title 1 Schools.
The Our Rock Project Needs:
- Grant Funding
- Support and for outreach for additional funding and partners through the various relationships our partners.
- Help with Press to maximize the partnership and efforts.
- In-kind help to create, print and copy the teacher manuals, equipment and software.
- Partnership outreach to other cities and school districts across the country.