PERISCOPE will be different from any other virtual program you may have been a part of in the past. This summer we will build a community of curious, innovative, and engaged “Experimentors” who will delve into project-based, creative learning that focuses on collaboration and communication with two main goals in mind: maximizing our creativity and character and having LOTS of fun in the process! Students will form deep connections with like-minded peers around the world in ways they never thought possible on a virtual platform. They will learn more about themselves and their connection to the world around them, all while experiencing a taste of what life as a student at Deerfield Academy might be like.
Leadership in Community is a small group experience that allows students to build relationships with peers from all over the world in a fun and social setting. Each small group will take part in the same activities as a way to build the larger PERISCOPE community through shared experiences. Students will take a deep dive into building their leadership and communication skills as a means of better understanding themselves and how they fit into the world. They will engage in experiential group activities, practice public speaking, and create artifacts to show their growth through the program. In addition, each small group leader will act as an advisor to students, meeting with them 1:1 to check on their progress and discuss their personal and educational goals for the future.
Along with taking courses designed and led by Deerfield faculty, students will take part in some beloved Deerfield traditions. School Meeting will be a time for the entire community to come together, and could include exciting guest speakers or presentations from groups of students. Sit-down meals will be a great opportunity to engage with one another and discuss a variety of topics—no food necessary! And students will also have access to a virtual Deerfield campus experience that includes asynchronous activities and a 3D walking tour!
Staying true to the Experimentory mission, PERISCOPE courses will approach subjects in fresh and exciting ways and will be project based, creative, and experiential in nature. A mix of group collaboration, independent work, and field studies will foster teamwork across time zones and embrace a diversity of perspectives. The virtual platform will provide an opportunity to teach students new skills and prepare them for collaboration in a rapidly changing and inter-connected world.
What subjects? What ways? We love to try new things—which means the Experimentory changes from year-to-year as we play and experiment. While we are putting the finishing touches on our course offerings for this summer, enjoy a sample of our 2019 courses below, which will give you a good idea of what to expect in 2021. Once our courses for this summer are set and students are enrolled, they will have an opportunity to rank our 2021 course offerings by preference; each student will take two courses.
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.
“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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
at Deerfield Academy
PO Box 87