Brewing beer

(This is a part of the Deeper Learning Story Bank. Add your story!)

Story title: Brewing beer

Submitted by: Blair Matthews

DL story: The tax on alcohol is quite high in the UK, and the expense of a night out motivated me to start thinking about how I could make my own beer.

I don’t know anybody who makes their own beer – it doesn’t seem to be that common where I am (surprisingly) – so I have had to learn by myself. This involves using books, the Internet (videos have been particularly helpful) and asking questions at my local homebrew shop. I’ve made quite a few mistakes, not least having bottles of beer explode because I bottled my beer before fermentation was complete. However, I have started making some really nice beer.

Lately, I have been adding seaweed to my beer (from the beach near my home) which gives my homebrew a distinct feature that expensive supermarket beers don’t have. And at 50p for 500ml, it’s 1/5th of the price.

From brewing, I have built up knowledge of biology and chemistry (and a bit of physics). I have developed a much better feeling for the taste of beer, too and I have become a lot more discerning.

Moreover, brewing my own beer has given me confidence to start other things, like making my own cheese and baking my own bread. I also grow a lot more than I used to, which I use.

Making things

Recalling school

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Story title: Recalling school

Submitted by: Ida Brandão

DL story: As a student in an arts school, already as an adult, I recall the importance that the teachers (designated as «masters») always stressed in planning first and doing afterwards.
«Arts of fire» involved pottery making, ceramics painting, moulds and metal working.
Learning by doing was the main methodological approach, but planning and drawing was always the first step.
Whenever one rushes to do things first, without reflecting and planning beforehand, things go wrong.
Even for a simple videocast, it’s better to plan the storyboard first and record it afterwords , the result turns out better.
The preparation takes longer but one gains time during the process of doing. This structure is important for any learner and should start from early ages.

Making things


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Story title: BikEngineering

Submitted by: Lou Barrios
HighTech High

DL story: I come from traditional California district schooling and I’m quite proud of that fact. My public school education helped me to realize how I best analyze, synthesize and learn. As a student I became quite good at doing what I had to do, so I could do what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to do was build. My deeper learning moment came as a senior in college working on a self-designed project. I had the opportunity to create a senior project around cycling. My group and I were decided to enter into an ASME Human Powered Vehicle Competition. There something inherently powerful about building something that began as nothing. Throughout the project we had to work and collaborate with many different professionals. We not only had to know how it was going to work, but we also had to become excellent welders, designers and bicycle mechanics. I realized then that deeper learning has to be exciting, engaging and needs to serve a greater purpose.

Be well,

Thinking critically; Collaborating; Self-directing learning; Doing relevant, engaging work; Making things