MAP students attend Walden West workshop October 4, 2010 — by Grishma Athavale More than 100 juniors and sophomores from the Media Arts Program (MAP) went to Walden West, a multipurpose facility in Saratoga, on Sept. 10 to improve their communication and collaboration skills. More than 100 juniors and sophomores from the Media Arts Program (MAP) went to Walden West, a multipurpose facility in Saratoga, on Sept. 10 to improve their communication and collaboration skills. Missing a day of school, the students engaged in several activities such as drawing a poster of their interests, creating skits on how to get people more involved with projects and listening to a lecture regarding communication skills. Chaperones for the trip included English teacher Kerry Mohnike, English teacher Jason Friend and history teacher Mike Davey. Students started by breaking into teams, getting to know each other and doing a series of activities to practice teamwork and learning skills such like active listening. “Although many thought the trip was a waste of time, I personally felt that some of the activities were pretty cool,” said junior Rod Jafari. Some students, however, did not enjoy the field trip, believing it not to be as effective as a collaborative group teambuilding workshop. “[The field trip] could have been more exciting,” said junior Mark Aken. “Some the of activities we did felt like it was more geared to a younger audience.” MAP began two years ago and focuses on skill development in multimedia fields such as digital film, graphic design, computer animation and web design. The program includes five different trips to get the learning out of the classroom and into the real world. These trips include visiting the John Steinbeck museum in Salinas, the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose and an “amazing race” in San Francisco, in which participants will have to do various activities as a team to win prizes. According to Palma, all of these trips are intended to expose the students to the usefulness of technology in this modern era as well as give them a hands-on approach to learning these concepts while enforcing teamwork.