At the door to Room 13 at Eliot School, Principal Peter Pannell told our tour group, "I don't know what we're going to find in here."
We found creativity in process, where the students were running their own show (or would be, as soon as school let out and they got back into the space). Room 13 is a unique, international arts program where the kids have to be entrepreneurial as well as creative because the program has to sustain itself. There are only two Room 13 chapters in the US, both in the LA area.
Local professional artists are welcome to mentor (hint hint). Or, if your talents don't swing in an artistic direction, you can help out with the wish list:
If I hadn't already been impressed with Eliot School, Room 13 would have done it. I love that combination of creative freedom and business acumen. I had an excellent arts education but I entered the adult world without any business training and I needed it, even back in the goodle days.
Many classes at Eliot combine disciplines and invite professionals from the community to participate. For example, we witnessed a fun program in the gymnasium led by pro dancers. One of the math teachers is developing a robotics class with the help of Caltech and JPL personnel; he was extremely enthusiastic and it was exciting to hear him talk about it. (His Caltech connection is filming a documentary about the program's development.)
Eliot School principal Peter Pannell answers parent questions in Room 13.
I could go on, but Room 13 is a good place to finish our tour of Eliot School. I enjoyed myself, and it made me wonder if other Pasadena and Altadena schools are just as interesting. They probably are. Many thanks to Principal Pannell for the tour, and to Susan Savitt Schwartz of PEN for inviting me.