Instead of taking a test on the unit, Mrs. Blackwelder’s third period apparel class is making dresses– out of trash.
The Apparel I class is doing a workplace simulation called Project Hallway. The class is split up into groups of four, and each person has a different role– designer, assistant designer, project manager, and model/stylist.
“This shows the kids how to function in teams and learn about apparel careers,” said Mrs. Blackwelder. “First they have to do a sketch, and then they have to figure out how to implement the sketch into an actual outfit while working together.”
After they planned the materials they needed, the students went to work on creating their outfits. Throughout the project, they had to do a visual photo progression of what they’re doing and turn it in with the final product.
Once the outfits are finished, the students will go to two classes and “model” their outfits– the group will present what they have created and explain the background behind them. After each apparel group presents, the classes have to vote on which outfit is the best. The best outfit will be displayed outside the apparel classroom in the hallway.
“Our shirt, once it’s finished, is going to look sort of like a candy cane– we’re putting stripes of aluminum foil on top of a blue background. Then, we’re putting spikes in the shoulder area,” says Vashae Dorsey, senior. “It’s taking a lot of time and effort to get everything together and we’re all really proud of what we do.”
This is the second year that the apparel class has done this project. The students have to demonstrate their understand of the principles and elements of design through the outfits they create.
“It’s a lot of fun actually creating something rather than just taking a test,” said Dana Worthy, a junior. “It’s fun, but it’s also challenging because it’s our first time doing something like this. We don’t know how it’s going to turn out and we’re pressured by our deadline– we can’t mess up.”
Blackwelder says that the kids usually have a lot of fun with this project. “They have to demonstrate to me that they understand the unit in order to make their garments visually appealing. It gives them a chance to be creative. With jobs [in the real world], they look for people who can apply skills to create something new– not just to answer questions on a test.”