Rainier students have not only been learning math and English but also how to draw portraits and even write monologues for plays. Summit Public School: Rainier has been providing Expeditions classes to their students for some time now; they offer elective classes for students to expand their horizons outside of their core learning classes.

Summit Rainier provides many Expeditions classes, such as Robotics, Multimedia Political Journalism and Video Game Programming, but we recently had our attention caught by Visual Arts and Intro to Drama specifically. These two classes can help students learn and expand skills that they can use in their core classes as well.

Art is present in every aspect of life, and students who take visual arts and drama courses develop techniques and customs that not only support them in those classes but also help them excel in core classes.

Students that take either art or drama were asked how they thought their Expeditions class might be helping them in their other classes. Rainier sophomore Jaryd Buendia, who is taking the Visual Arts class, said, “I know one skill that I use a lot that we use in art is the pressure that we have, like the date and deadlines we use, because it forces us to work harder to our goals that we have set.” He explained that his art class helps him practice meeting deadlines for his work.

Like in Visual Arts, students who are taking Intro to Drama also said that they have learned some skills that they can use in their core classes as well. Their teacher, Estrella Esparza-Johnson, had a lot of thoughts on the topic and gave a few insights about how she thinks her drama class helps students: ¨I encourage my students to explore perception through their senses, to look at things from other people’s perspectives. So, the development of empathy, which can assist you with your development as a person and as a professional in the world.”

Many students who took a drama course also pointed out that, in their class, performing and role playing with the other students helps them with their projection and makes them more confident about public speaking and presenting in their core classes.

“Drama is all about talking and being confident in yourself, like talking in front of an audience, and it helped me because at first it wasn’t this easy,” Rainier freshman Alyssa Martinez explained, adding that because of drama she became more confident when she had to take on being in front of audiences.

Drama helps students with projection, confidence and experience with public speaking. The students who take drama gain these benefits by practicing and studying the performing arts. Arts classes improve students’ presentation and their ability to work with deadlines.

Students can expand their abilities in many ways, and providing the right atmosphere can really make that possible. Summit Rainier allows students to explore opportunities by having Expeditions classes like Visual Arts and Intro to Drama available; in doing this, they not only give students a fun learning experience outside of their normal classes but also provide learning environments where students can develop skills that help them succeed in other areas.