Colton is a new student who was recently admitted into Sora Middle School. He recently finished his first academic cycle and we sat down with him to hear how it went.
Hi Colton, welcome to Sora! What made you choose to come here and how are you liking it?
Before Sora, I was doing homeschool. It wasn’t exactly working out, I needed to socialize a lot more than I was. That was a big reason I came to Sora. My mom was looking for a few virtual school options for me and she just wasn’t finding one that was quite satisfactory.
But right before she was about to just give up and put me in one that she thought was good enough, she saw an ad for Sora, which really came at the perfect time. We talked a little bit about how Sora works and I thought, “This sounds incredible and perfect.” So we decided we might as well give it a shot. I went through my admissions process and all that and here I am fitting right in and it’s great here.
The first cycle has been amazing, everyone is so welcoming. When I started, it felt like I had been there forever, everyone is so supportive. I love how Sora is super flexible, and you can choose your own expeditions. The debate club is my favorite club. It’s entertaining.
Congratulations on finishing your first cycle at Sora, how did it go?
Great! I took three learning expeditions: Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Food Science, and E.T. Phone Home. I’ve already started the next academic cycle and am taking Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson again because it’s a two-part course. I’m also taking a double-session expedition called Dream Vacation.
I saw those expeditions being offered in the Sora Home app. Can you tell me more about each one? What are they about?
Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson is a two-part learning expedition because we are actually working to perform a play at the end of the second expedition. In Food Science, we learned about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and how they all work together. We had a baker actually show us a little bit about baking cookies and gave us a summary of how things work. Our mini task was to make something called puppy chow to help us understand the difference between heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures.
Our final project was to create our own recipe. I made focaccia bread with a blend of Italian spices and cheddar cheese. To present the recipe, I made a blog with step-by-step instructions alongside pictures. I was surprised how well it turned out, and how I could make something like that with so few ingredients. If you don’t have yeast, you do have other leavening ingredients such as baking soda and baking powder. And they may not give you as much of an exaggerated effect as yeast, but they will still rise your bread and you will be able to make bread.
And for E.T. Phone Home, I re-designed an alien from the movie A Quiet Place. The aliens in there are called Death Angels, but based on the description of the aliens it was unlikely they could actually survive on Earth. So I re-designed them to actually survive on Earth by making them more like tardigrades. Do you know what tardigrades are? They can survive almost anything.
Wow, that’s really cool Colton, thanks for showing me your projects. But what about Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson? What character will you be playing?
For Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, the whole point is that you’re going to perform a play at the end. And the play is called Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, and you do some asynchronous work leading up to it and you practice the script. The learning expedition covers a lot of topics, like the U.S. Constitution, Causes of the Civil War, the American Revolution, Manifest Destiny, and Indian Policy in the U.S.
I’m thinking of playing Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, or Crawford. I really loved how they acted in the play. I thought it was really easy for me to kind of fit into their role, so I thought they were pretty good choices. It’s really cool to be able to become a character of your choice. It’s almost like you get to experience a whole new world and you get to be someone else. You’re able to wear someone else’s shoes for a while and see different people’s perspectives.
You mentioned the debate club. How does that work? What topics do you discuss?
Broderick is the student leader of the debate club. We select the topic beforehand and head into the club room on discord using voice chat. We have two teams, and the first thirty minutes of the hour are spent researching the topic. In the second half of the hour, we debate. It’s set up to where the first team has three speakers and they speak then they have a cross-examination, then it’s the next team’s turn.
I’ve been to two debate clubs so far and it’s going really well. The first one covered the topic of video games and whether or not they are hurting children’s mental development. I’ve been put on the team according to what I actually thought so I’ve gotten lucky so far. But there have been students who have had to fight for the other side’s perspective.
What advice do you have for students who are considering Sora?
Give it a shot and try it out. I came to Sora because I wanted to add more socializing into my life that I wasn’t getting from homeschooling. And also Sora is so flexible and so much fun. So it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re gonna love it once you come in. There are fun events that happen like the Middle School Lock-In where we got together and watched a movie and talked. It’s just a really good experience for socializing.
So I said just give it a shot. See if it works for you.
If you’d like to learn more about our innovative high school program, click here to request information about Sora.
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