Piñatas, Curling and Boat Restoration: Students Enjoy Exploration Day

Nathan Grant

By Nathan Grant ’16, News Section Editor

Some students helped restore an old boat. Others searched for fossils. Still others learned the sport of curling.  The first-ever Exploration Day on Wednesday April 6th gave Upper School students an opportunity to learn new subjects and explore different cultures outside of the classroom. Instead of spending the day taking classes, 9th through 12th grade students had the chance to explore various topics ranging from Irish step dancing and Mexican crafts to paleontology and speed filmmaking. Exploration Day showed students that they can learn in many creative ways. By offering fun and interesting projects, teachers were able to encourage students to try something new, and that is why Exploration Day was such an amazing and successful event.

As Head of the Upper School Stephanie Luebbers explained, “My goal was for students to learn something new, explore something different, and have fun at the same time.” Students spent the day discovering unique topics that they wouldn’t normally learn about in the classroom. For example, Sachi Bhati ’18 explored Mexican cuisine and crafts. With help from Spanish teachers Señora Angela Suarez, Señora Malena Castro, and English teacher Jamal English, Bhati learned how to make piñatas, guacamole, tortilla chips, and pico de gallo. “I really enjoyed the day,” says Bhati. “It was nice to learn something new and spend time with friends and faculty.”

While some projects were about exploring arts, sports, and authentic cuisines, other projects were about community service. College Counselor and English Teacher Chuck McGivern and College Counseling Assistant Yvonne Green took six seniors to Reading High School, where the seniors had a chance to act as college counselors and explain the college application process to three freshmen, sophomore, and junior classes. I was involved in this project, and while our goal was to share our experiences, I believe we accomplished something even more meaningful. We realized how truly fortunate we were to go to a school with so many support systems. It was an eye-opening experience, and something we will never forget.

While students learned about  topics such as filmmaking, boat restoration, and paleontology, they also learned about the various interests of the Upper School faculty. For example, Art Department chair Carole Lichty-Smith knows how to make macaroons in a glass kiln, History teacher Dr. Marygrace Tyrrell and Math teacher Catherine Phillips know how to sew, and Math teacher John Christiansen knows a lot about meditation. The list goes on. There were so many fascinating activities, and as Mrs. Luebbers said, “It was the best day of the year.” Thanks to Exploration Day, students were able to form not only strong bonds with new friends, but also with the teachers. Students learned a lot, and definitely had fun doing so.

Image Source: @TonyJaccaci