Iduma Exhibition Examines Expression

Iduma ES fifth-grade exhibition
By: Todd Martin
With a week left in the school year, Iduma Elementary School fifth-graders culminated their learning Wednesday in the school’s annual exhibition, showcasing months of research on cultural expression.
The fifth-grade exhibition caps the elementary component of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program that focuses on learner profile character traits and divides curriculum into organized planners with a global awareness.
Iduma teacher Eneida Saucedo said this year’s theme, “How We Express Ourselves,” led 132 students to projects aimed at the effects of art, dance, music, movies, technology and other broad aspects of global life.
“They shine on this day,” said Saucedo, pointing out that students begin the extensive research and presentation preparation in January.
“All the research comes down to this,” she said, gesturing around the school cafeteria, just one of the many school venues transformed into a sort of interactive museum for the day.
One group of three found that dance connects to culture and evolves and changes with society. The fifth-graders studied ballet and Roman and Greek dance.
“You can express emotion and tell stories through dance,” said Dalixa Ruiz-Rivera.
Other groups studied technology and found that from the invention of wheels to modern medicine and communication, modern machines make the world safer, but at the same time online resources can expose identity and lead to cyberbullying and illegal trafficking.
Another group of fifth-graders studied the powerful influence of food.
They focused on Mexican food and found that culture and upbringing play a strong role in what we eat and affect the way we feel and express emotion.
Group members also found that different countries have different relationships to fresh ingredients compared to eating ready-made food and that food preferences get transported to different areas.  
A group that studied the effects of music included a news report in their presentation with each member describing the strong influence of music in broadcast voice.
Group members Julia Fonseca, Isabelle Schafer and Joel Albert said they found that listening to music could trigger memories and affect thoughts and body movements and that every culture seems to have music.
The power of music, students said, could bring calm relaxation and also stimulate negative behavior like using bad words.
Another group of fifth-graders that studied music found that it can combine with images, such as in movies and on television, to make imagery appear happier or sadder and change one’s perspective.
While the IB program will not be in effect after this year, Saucedo said Iduma Elementary School would continue to build global citizens who take care of the world and would likely present some form of research projects in the future.