Those are just a few of the subjects studied and projects completed by Upper School students during the Intensive period this year. All Grades 9 - 12 students participated in one of 19 Intensive courses to dive deeply into, and focus solely on one subject for the three weeks between the School's Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks.
The Intensives program is designed to offer students and teachers the chance to explore one topic of academic merit deeply by way of projects, experiential learning, guest lectures, and field trips. They offer opportunities for students to journey off campus, collaborate with local and international experts, and develop deep and lasting bonds among a small group of people who might not otherwise share an academic experience. The course topics, which range from board game design to magical realism, resource management to personal finance, complement traditional curricula.
Throughout the three weeks, students were found around the Upper School engaging in discussions, sculpting, composing, connecting items like fruit to computer science projects, and analyzing films, among many other activities. Off campus, many groups traveled locally and outside of city and county lines to help complete Habitat for Humanity projects, visit grocery stores, hike in the nearby mountains, and learn more about local medical resources. One group even traveled to Woods Hole, Mass. to study in a world-class lab in partnership with the University of Chicago.
The majority of Intensives are open to students in Grades 9 - 12, so each cohort is significantly diverse. Boys, girls, day students, boarding students, international students, and teachers teaching outside their disciplines are part of what make Intensives so unique, and so memorable for all involved.
Photos from this year's Intensives are available on the School SmugMug account. NBC 29 coverage of the Habitat for Humanity Intensive's work can be found at STAB Students Volunteer to Help Build Affordable Housing in Charlottesville.