Ma'avar: A Capstone to Create Meaningful Learning

Jacob '20's memories of his grandmother are filled with songs. When it came time to begin his Ma'avar project, he knew he wanted to preserve the memory of his grandmother through music. "Ma'avar not only gave me a platform to express myself musically in a way I've never done before," explained Jacob, "but also allowed me to connect with my grandmother."

Translated into English, Ma'avar means to cross over or to pass through. At Gann Academy, completing Ma'avar capstone projects signifies the transition of seniors to graduates. Katie Pustizzi, Ma'avar coordinator, describes Ma'avar as meaningful learning, built from several components including risk taking, self-discovery, and meaning making. "Every senior is able to dive into a self-curated experience and expand their knowledge," Pustizzi said. "I know that many students will be continuing their Ma'avar work into the summer and even into college."
 
This year, Ma'avar projects ranged from internships at the Statehouse to exploring the benefits of a vegan diet. For Jacob, the choice to pursue music was rather unexpected. "A lot of my friends thought I would make a cookbook," said Jacob. "But after my grandmother passed away a month ago, I decided I wanted to do something that would help me cope with her death."
 
Ultimately, that "something" became an Instagram page filled with videos of Jacob singing and playing piano. "I certainly got my talent from her," reflected Jacob. "She was the most musical person I know. She personally earned to dance from Gene Kelly and was the musical cohost on Nick Clooney's talk show!"
 
"The Ma'avar experience offers students an opportunity for an understanding or awareness of their place and ability to impact the greater world," added Pustizzi. For Jacob, the impact of Ma'avar was clear. 
 
"I used Ma’avar to carry on my grandmother’s musical legacy. It was a project I will never forget."
 
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