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The Saga of Gabi the Cat

The following movie depicts the saga of Gabi the Cat. It's a story that Spanish students have been learning since 4th grade and finally finished. They wanted to make a movie of the story and it was totally student-initiated, from casting to props to sets to acting. 

The Musical Playground






Nearly 200 6th – 12th grade students participated in a pioneering two-day event being held at their campus on April 3rd and 4th. Based on the “Lean Start-up” model, which is trending in corporate culture and product development, this event was led by Kimberly Hicks, Viacom’s Director of Product Management for TV Everywhere. Based in New York, Kimberly works with Viacom brands and business units as the authenticated content experience expert. Kimberly and her team have integrated TVE into multiplatform experiences for Viacom’s brands including Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

Thursday morning began with an introduction to rapid prototyping. Students conducted limited market research among their peers to develop early-stage sneaker designs. During the remainder of the event,  the focus shifted to their school: identifying issues within Riverfield that they would like to improve. Working in small groups, students conducted interviews, determined criteria for success, developed ideas to achieve success, created a prototype, and tested the prototype. Friday afternoon, the teams presented their ideas and prototypes to a panel of judges, both in-person and via Skype, including

• Kirstin Dickerson  – KTUL News Anchor
• Cindy Morrison  – Social Media Strategist at SOCIALVENTION
• Harry Ashbaugh  – Online Marketing Director at cubic
• Teri Aulph  – Business Consultant
• Dave Cunha – Director of Product Development, Emerging Platforms, Viacom Media Networks
• Lisa Gelobter – Interim Head of Digital for BET Networks
• Meghan Knoll – Director of Mobile Products, Viacom Media Networks
• Nick Hunter – Director of Product, Nick Jr
• Ro Purushotham – Product Manger - Social at Viacom Media Networks

When asked about the event and the motivations behind it, Riverfield’s Head of School Jerry Bates replied, “Several years ago, we altered our Mission Statement to include our commitment to students’ success today and tomorrow. This ‘lean start-up model’ is an example of a technique used daily by businesses and organizations creating new products -- from shoe design to web applications to government policy. What we wanted to do was conduct a program that focuses not only on collaboration and exchange of ideas, but we also wanted to have a ‘take-away’. We wanted an actionable product that will be implemented by students for students.”