Project Exchange

Driving Question  What's this?

How does change occur?

Revolution is when a stick is stuck into the spinning spokes of the wheel of a society. This project explores, through artistic expression, the connections between changes both physical and social, through the lens of every class available.*

Imagine social revolution as a complex machine. There are brilliant and passionate people, surprising events, and bold actions that trigger often predictable reactions, and each makes up a function that is essential to the outcome. This metaphor can apply to any dramatic change in society: a collection of forces that tumultuously combine and conflict.

Students can use this sort of critical and poetic thinking to investigate the very nature of change by building Metaphor Machines to represent historical revolutions. Each function of the Metaphor Machine is bound by a principle that exists in the physical world, which is then figuratively connected by student analysis and imagination, to an aspect of the chosen revolution.

Metaphor Machines are constructed, filmed, and presented at a semester Exhibition, group Keynote presentation, an oral defense of knowledge, and a Metaphor Machine & Blueprint Gallery.

*All classes can support this project! Performing Arts introduced metaphor through Shakespeare soliloquies, Visual Arts analyzed and experimented with romanticism, realism, and impressionism (artistic revolution), Math class was our "workshop" class where students practiced formulas, made blueprints and constructed the machines, and Digital Design had students editing their videos and creating their keynotes.


Subject Area(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies


Teaching Days to Complete: 8+ weeks


Keywords  What's this?

change, physical, social, revolution, world, america, haiti, france, romanticism, realism, impressionism, rube goldberg, machine, physics, newton, metaphor, blu


Outcomes  What's this?

...Students will be able to answer the question, "How does change occur?" with several claims supported by multiple pieces of personal and academic evidence, through the lenses of an artist, a physicist, and a historian.


21st Century Leadership Skills  What's this?


Graduation Portfolio Tasks  What's this?


Keynote/Powerpoint Example

Video (3.1 M)


Nation X

Video (34.6 M)


Student Exhibition Example

Video (25.8 M)