Superheroes will soon be flying around Hasbro Children’s Hospital thanks to 30 capes that Cranston West juniors Thea Marses and Sofia Marella created for kids at the hospital. Their creations …
Superheroes will soon be flying around Hasbro Children’s Hospital thanks to 30 capes that Cranston West juniors Thea Marses and Sofia Marella created for kids at the hospital. Their creations were part of a maker badge project for their URI Writing 104 course, which focuses on writing to inform and explain and can earn students college credits.
“We really wanted to do something that would give back to the community,” said Marses, when asked how the duo came up with their idea.
Evan Lancia, who has taught the URI Writing 104 course for the last five years, said Marses and Marella’s project is one the top projects he’s seen. He explained that during this half-year course, students complete two maker badge projects that have three levels to them. The projects include brainstorming, planning, researching and sharing the final product with classmates. Lancia added that his class took a field trip to URI where students met with a URI advisor and librarian and learned how to conduct research for their project; the girls said they pulled most of their information from online and from URI’s research database.
Marses and Marella created the 2.5 foot long superhero capes out of cloth squares from Michaels. Marses said they used gender neutral cloth since they didn’t know who would receive the capes. The two then designed the letter ‘s’ for ‘superhero’ and ironed it onto the capes. They finished the product by using Velcro to attach the cape around the neck.
The girls started their project by making five capes, which Marella said took roughly five hours. With a bit of practice under their belts, they created the remaining 25 capes in one additional night. When the two finished the capes, they spread them across the floor.
“It looked like a whole rug,” said Marella.
Through research, the girls learned that children learn best through play and can help with their development.
While the project was fun to complete, the students did experience challenges along the way. One of the project’s hardest parts was making contact with the hospital. Marses and Marella reached out to the hospital early on in their project but didn’t hear back right away. The girls persisted by emailing and calling until finally making contact about a month later.
Lancia said he was most proud of the girls’ persistence and that the experience speaks to the real world and how it can be difficult to get in contact with others – especially when places like a hospital are so busy.
The girls put a lot of time into the project in and out of the classroom – saying that it took about 20 hours to make the capes, complete the written portion of their project and a video component showing the process of making the capes and how everything was put together and speaking about audience and purpose in writing.
For the video, the Marses and Marella interviewed Marses’ mom, Tina, who works with kids. Tina expressed that the capes could allow kids to take their minds off being in the hospital and receiving a cape can create a personal connection since a child knows that someone took the time to make this item for them and was thinking of them.
The students dropped off the individually-packaged capes at Hasbro Children’s Hospital on Nov. 22, and the staff will contact Marses and Marella so they can hear what the kids’ responses were.
As for their favorite part about the project, Marella said: “I feel like it makes them feel confident in themselves wearing the superhero capes.”
“It’s definitely rewarding for us to know we made a difference in what we’re doing. And hopefully when they get back to us just to see the feedback from that i feel like that’s the greatest thing,” Marses said.
Marses said the URI Writing 104 course teaches students the span of communication is much more than the written word; in class, they’ve learned about different modes of communication like videos, research and media assets – all of which students used in their projects.
Lancia said the two girls did a fantastic job from day one. Lancia said the course has evolved over the years and now has a stronger social justice aspect to it where individuals create something that’s useful for the greater good. He added that past projects have included making a surfboard, baking and cooking.
“They really took it and ran with it,” Lancia said. “The thing I love about the class is there’s a real world aspect to it, it’s not just school.”
Moving forward the two are working on an adventure badge where they will go to different restaurants and take the least and most ordered items and rate them.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here