Experience

One of the beauties of boarding school is the way all parts of life intersect. We want our summer community to be a safe place to take creative risks and strive to be our best selves. This means striking a good work-life balance and considering non-academic time just as important as our course work. During our in-person sessions, we schedule open-ended free time in the afternoons and evenings; we plan casual gatherings like weekend picnics; and we have structured co-curriculars, field trips, and sit-down meals. Our remote program will strive to create the same sense of community and place where students can step outside of their comfort zone, collaborate and find creative solutions to all types of problems.

CLASSES

Our program consists of project-based, creative "clusters" that approach subjects in fresh and exciting ways.
What subjects? What ways? We love to try new things—which means the Experimentory changes
from year-to-year as we play and experiment.

Below you’ll find information about our 2019 courses. We are working on a fresh set of courses for our 2021 program, but the information below will give you an idea of what’s to come.

13.8 Billion Years: Big History

Where did everything come from?  How did we get where we are now?   Where do humans fit in?  Where are things heading? Come explore the modern scientific origin story of how the universe and life have grown more complex. We’ll engage the powerful ideas winding through the Big Bang, the birth of star systems, Earth’s first life, and the rise of humanity. We’ll juggle galaxies and atoms. We’ll consider events that took a billionth of a second and stories that span billions of years.  Along the way we’ll discuss how scholars develop, justify, refute and refine claims about the past.  Students will also work on their own narratives and explanations of “Big History’s” essential questions.  Let’s build a framework for learning about anything or everything.

Break a Leg: Performance on the Stage

“We must all do theatre, to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become.” As stated by Augusto Boal, theater is a powerful experience and you will be sure to find discovery at every turn.  After building an ensemble as a class, you’ll move on to scene study, improvisation, monologue work, and performance techniques. The course will conclude with a short performance of your work. Whether you’ve been in every school play since kindergarten or have never set foot on stage, this course will hone your critical thinking, strengthen your collaboration skills, and increase your self-confidence.

Finding Your Voice: Public Speaking

The human voice does more than just place orders at a drive-thru: we can use the spoken word to teach, chastise, influence, and inspire. In this course, you will learn both how to speak comfortably in front of others and how to write text that yearns to be delivered. Beginning with the written word, we will move toward utilizing the full capabilities of the human voice and engaging the body. Along the way, students will develop strategies for memorization and tricks for calming nervous jitters. The power of speech will come alive through dramatic monologues, debate, and delivering a final speech that you will write yourself.

Functional Art: Architectural Sketching and Design

Architects design spaces so that we can live, work, and play in them. We will study designed spaces with frequent trips around the buildings of the Deerfield Academy campus with sketchbooks in hand. Then, put your business hats on as we consider the functional aspects of our art when our class transforms into a mock architectural firm hired to reshape those existing DA spaces for a new purpose.  Students will finish the course with experience in architectural sketching and plenty of principles of design. Let’s get drawing!

Lab Coat Jerseys: The Science of Sports

There is science everywhere, but perhaps nowhere is it more overlooked than in sports. Why put dimples on a golf ball? What happens in your blood when you run? Why do spinning balls curve? How does your body’s starting position influence your jump shot? Why do we become so committed to a team we love? These are the sorts of questions we will be exploring this summer.  We will play and study the science that underlays several different sports while taking full advantage of DA’s Athletic Center. Are you game to join us?

Makerspace: Creative Problem Solving

Creativity is often about using what you have well. This course will feature daily hands-on team challenges that will force you to think on your feet, collaborate with others, and build things of your own design. For example: How fast can you transport 10 marbles across a room using newspaper, toothpicks, and mailing labels? How tall of a tower can you build using spaghetti, tape, and yarn in just 10 minutes? Accommodating limited time and materials will teach you creative problem solving techniques.

People

Experimentory teaching faculty members are smart and curious–just like you! They will guide you through a process of discovery, while allowing you to follow your own unique interests–wherever they may take you.

During the year, our faculty teach at Deerfield Academy and enjoy exploring specific topics of their curriculum with Experimentory students over the summer. Being familiar with all that DA has to offer, they are able to support each student’s ideas to help them become a reality. Along with our teaching faculty, residential assistants and office staff also help support students and make our program a success. Our residential assistants live in the dorms, plan activities, assist teachers in the classroom, and have fun alongside our students. The office staff are your go-to resources as you learn about the program, apply, and make your way to campus. All of these individuals work closely together to ensure that the Experimentory is a summer experience that students won’t soon forget. Below you’ll see examples of some of our teaching faculty. These faculty members continue to teach at Deerfield Academy and bring vast knowledge and enthusiasm to our program. Check back in the months to come to see who joins us in 2021!

David Payne

FACULTY

“Functional Art:

Architectural Sketching and Design”

Mr. Payne’s love of architecture started young: he grew up in a quintessential New England small town full of beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings. In time he not only grew an appreciation of how the function and form of individual features become a building and home, but also how individual buildings together constitute a place and a community. In addition to traditional architectural design classes, he teaches AP 3-D Design. His classes place strong value on practical spaces and architecture as a tactile craft–for example, designing a new Academy dorm and learning to draw plans and build models by hand. And with three active boys at home, he is no stranger to change and adventure.

Megan Hayes-Golding

FACULTY

“Makerspace: Creative Problem Solving”

Megan Hayes-Golding (HG) has been making things all her life, which is why she’s excited to join the Experimentory faculty this year to teach Makerspace: Creative Problem Solving. Her favorite tool in the Deerfield maker space is the laser cutter, favorite medium is cardboard, and favorite joining technique is the humble finger joint. HG loves to travel with her wife and daughter, most recently having visited Barcelona. HG uses she/her/hers pronouns.

CATRIONA HYNDS

FACULTY

“Break a Leg: Performance on the Stage”

Ms Hynds was raised in the foothills of the Himalayas. The backdrop of the mountains growing up surely inspired her love of travel which has led to her living and working in many countries. As a professionally trained director, Ms. Hynds brings a unique approach to her theater and acting classes. She encourages students to move out of their comfort zones to maximize their creativity, while having fun at the same time.

Jaime Correa

FACULTY

“Your First Drop: Lyric Writing and Video Production”

Mr. Correa fell under the spell of the lonely, wandering cowboys on the silver screen at an early age. In time, his interests expanded from the individual stories to how they were told through words and images. These fascinations led to degrees in Film and Television, and then Film Studies and Cultural Studies. His interest in music and songwriting is more personal passion than formal education. He studies classical guitar in his free time and finds songwriting a new incarnation of his love of poetry. His Experimentory classes are a fusion of all these creative and academic pursuits. He loves cultivating his students’ visual, poetic, and musical literacy.

"DFG"

Dorm / Field / Greer

Free time is an opportunity to recharge in whatever way suits you: reading in the Dorm, a pickup soccer game in the Fields, ice cream over a game of cards in the Greer Cafe—or a little bit of all three.

A DAY AT THE EXPERIMENTORY

DORMS

Dorms aren’t just the place you sleep: your evenings there include snacks, impromptu dance parties, birthday celebrations, and time to reflect on all you learned and experienced during the day.

MEALS

Sit-down meals in the Dining Hall are a great place to meet, relax, and chat with friends.