Courses

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Xander reflects on how the teachers in his Architecture + Culture class drew out his academic curiosity and encouraged him to take some chances to produce work he was proud of.

Our program consists of project-based, creative classes 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. Our 2020 program has been cancelled due to the global health concerns. We’ll have a fresh set for our 2021 program, but the information below will give you an idea of what’s to come.

13.8 Billion Years: Big History (Two Weeks)

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.

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

13.8 Billion Years: Big History (Four Weeks)

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.

Course Length: Four Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students

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.

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students

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.

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

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!

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

The Great American Musical: Musical Theatre

Musicals delight the old and young with dancing, singing, and acting.  They tell stories and convey emotions unlike any other form of art.  From classics like Singing in the Rain to modern tales such as Moana, we will start with a brief history of the rise of the American Musical and then move to building our musical theater skills.  How does acting a song differ from traditional singing?  How do you convey a story through song and dance?  Learn to build stage presence and confidence.  We will choose pieces from the musical repertoire and culminate in the performances of solo and/or ensemble numbers.

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

Lab Coat Jerseys: The Science of Sports (Two Weeks)

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?

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

Lab Coat Jerseys: The Science of Sports (Four Weeks)

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?

In the four week version of this class, we’ll take things to the next level. Construct a trebuchet to sink three pointers! Modify an RC car to skate on ice! Model a baseball pitch on the computer to determine how you might throw a better curveball! Student groups will pursue a project focused on a sport of their choice.

Course Length: Four Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students

Makerspace: Creative Problem Solving

Makerspace is FULL for Summer 2019

 

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.

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students

Speak for the Trees: Environmental Citizenship (Two & Four Weeks)

What does it mean to be an environmentally conscious citizen in a globally connected world? We are going to find out! We will begin by learning about some environmental challenges facing the planet, especially climate change. After drawing on biology, chemistry, and environmental science to understand the problem, we will learn about the different steps that countries around the world are taking to address these issues. Then, we will be engaging in an interactive, immersive Model U.N. activity to look at if and how this complicated global issue can be solved by countries with various and sometimes competing interests.

Course Length: Two or Four Weeks
Available to: Two Week Version: Students; Four Week Version: Four Week Students Only

Songwriting and Video Production

We live in an auto play, like and share, pop-up enabled, upload and publish world. This means music and video are EVERYWHERE–and that means they are both incredibly important and easy to take for granted. Our class centers on writing songs and producing music videos–challenging but fun work with a final product you can take pride in. Along the way you’ll learn techniques for pursing creative work and collaborating with others. And as you develop your visual and musical literacies, you’ll start to see how the songs and videos we see every day work–and how you can use them to share your own messages with the world. Come, become a fish that understands its water!

Course Length: Two Weeks
Available to: Four Week Students, Two Week Session 1 Students, Two Week Session 2 Students


If you are curious to learn more about how our courses looked in the 2018 program, visit the Experimentory’s Blog, Flickr and YouTube pages to see how it all came together.