For the past month and a half, our junior diving class has been in a physics unit. Each table would compose an individual research group, and would be assigned a specific physics law that is applicable to what we do in the water, such as the Archimedes displacement principle and the Gas Laws of Gay-Lussac, Charles, and Avogadro.
Our task: research our given law and present it to the rest of the class. However, this is where things got interesting. One of the many things I have come to love so dearly about this class is the preparation for our lives after high school that Lenny and Zoe provide for us by introducing us to skills of great importance in our futures, and assisting us in the mastery of such skills. Therefore, this unit was not solely a research project; it was also a lengthy, thorough lesson on presentation skills. Each time a group would present, the rest of the class were given feedback sheets to fill out, evaluating the presenters’ performances.
We were scrutinized both as groups and as individuals. At the end of every presentation, there was a designated period of time for feedback. The body language, confidence, organization, and projection of the presenters was discussed while the structure, content, and capability to be understood of the presentation itself was looked at.
The presenters took note of the feedback they had been given, making sure to apply what they had been told to their next attempted presentation. Lenny gave us these trial runs in an effort to help us in fine-tuning our presentations to their greatest capacities. When our peers had finished sharing their comments, Lenny had the final say. He would often “tear a presentation to shreds”, but there was not a single instance in which his feedback was not constructive and could not be instantly utilized to drastically improve the overall quality of the presentation he had reviewed.
I have come away from this unit with not only a more developed understanding of the laws we had studied, but also of how to effectively construct and execute a presentation to an audience lacking knowledge of the topic.