middle school students in classroom wearing masks

Leonardo Day a Resounding Success

Thursday, October 4, 2018

leonardo day bread making

When one thinks about the atmosphere at Landmark School, "community" and "collaboration" are among the first words that come to mind. Both were on full display at the High School campus during Leonardo Day, a school-wide multi-disciplinary event held on October 4.

Teachers and students participated in more than 20 hands-on activities throughout the day that celebrated, reflected on, and mirrored the life and work of Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci, the definitive Renaissance man studied—and in most cases gained renown in—painting, sculpting, architecture, science, math, engineering, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography.

Curiosity, Imagination, Ingenuity

Da Vinci led a life of curiosity, imagination, and ingenuity, and those traits were incorporated into each program. The activities included:

  • building a bridge with just wood, PVC tubes, and string
  • crafting water shoes to walk on water
  • creating a camera obscura
  • observing mathematical beauty in nature
  • baking bread and making cheese and butter
  • dissecting a sheep's eye
  • making a cam hammer

Organizing such an ambitious event required skills on par with Leonardo himself. Ben DiFrancesco conceived of the idea in the fall of 2017. It took a full year of planning to bring his plan to life.

"Leonardo Day resulted from my research into collaboration and cross-curricular planning as part of my mentorship program," DiFrancesco said. "I was inspired by other faculty who already reach across subjects to do creative things—Bill Chamberlain, Doug Walker, Adam Craig, Brigid Houlihan, and Andrea Meade. STEAM is a constant buzzword in the educational community and this presented itself as a perfect opportunity to showcase its value."