If this is not dumbing down, what is?

From OregonLive.com: http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2012/05/hilhi_sophomores_showcase_inte.html

One thing is certain: The sophomores finishing the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at Hilhi have a vast array of interests.

Michal Thompson, The Hillsboro Argus took this photo of Ryan Andress and his project – how to survive a zombie invasion:

Hillsboro High School sophomore Ryan Andress and classmates assembled what information they could find on how to survive a zombie invasion. The project was on display during the premier of “Personal Project Exhibition Night” Monday for the school’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.

That much was evident this week during the personal project exhibition at the school, showcasing the students’ capstone projects.

International Baccalaureate MYP is for ages 11-16 and is offered at South Meadows Middle School and Hillsboro High School.

Designed to help students make connections between their academic work and the world around them, the students are the first group to complete the MYP in Hillsboro.

The program began three years ago at the middle school. Many of the students will continue on in the IB program at Hilhi.

Students choose a topic of their own interest, tracked their project progress, presented their work, and will complete a paper reflecting on the experience.

This first project exhibition night was a “dry run,” said Hilhi language arts teacher Paul Satterlee — a chance to iron out the kinks in the personal project process.

Michal Thompson, The Hillsboro Argus took this photo of Anna O’Neal and her project – how to make a dress out of paper:

Hillsboro High School sophomore Anna O’Neal models her dress made from newspapers during the premier of “Personal Project Exhibition Night” Monday for the school’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.

“This is to get them to think about the real world,” Satterlee said.

The students presented information on a wide range of subjects, from sleep disorders, obesity and teen pregnancy to fishing tackle, the Wiccan religion, and the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana.

Ryan Andress and his three project partners decided to take a more humorous approach to their project, choosing to create a project on “What to Do During a Zombie Apocalypse.”

Falling into the “community service” category, the project is complete with a brochure full of information on how to be prepared and a sample zombie emergency kit.

“It was a fun idea to go with,” Andress said. Fun, indeed. But substitute a real world crisis like an earthquake or tsunami and Andress and his crew demonstrated their knowledge of how to help out their community in a real emergency.

Anna O’Neal used her project to delve more deeply into her love for fashion.

She designed and made a stylish dress out of newspaper.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to do something unique and cool,” O’Neal said. One weekend morning she walked into the living room and saw her mom and dad reading the paper — and the light bulb went on.

O’Neal made many test dresses, experimenting with the thickness of ruffles. The creation is held together with tape and Velcro, O’Neal said, and she wore it at least two hours during the exhibition.

And just for the record, the dress was made out of The Oregonian pages.

~ Kathy Fuller