2018 Upper School Winterim Offers Experiential Learning Opportunities Near and Far

Friday, March 16, 2018

This year's Upper School Winterim took students as far away as London, Los Angeles, Cologne, Germany, and Ecuador. Other students traveled to New York, Florida, the Bahamas, Death Valley, or around the Carolinas. Still others stayed on campus for the week to study exercise science, forensic science, film and music, or landscape painting. And more than 80 completed internships, learning about everything from sports management (with the Seattle Mariners) to veterinary science to aerospace engineering to law.

Held the week of March 5-9, Winterim is an opportunity for students to pursue an interest that broadens their educational experience. The Winterim curriculum focuses on five main areas: academic and cultural enrichment, leadership, service, wilderness education, and internships. Students are required to choose one of these areas each year and at least one internship during their four years.

Winterim experiences are local, national and international. Internships in the Columbia area, US college tours, and service projects in villages across the globe are just some of the opportunities offered to Upper School Students every year.

Among this year's travel options were a trip to Los Angeles to study writing with a successful Hollywood screenwriter, a Barbados adventure that offered everything from oceanography to geography to community service in a local preschool, ecological study in Death Valley and Washington State's Olympic National Park, SCUBA training in Florida and SCUBA diving in the Bahamas, and a chance to reconnect with German exchange students from our sister school in the Cologne region. Students could also elect to spend a week exploring mindfulness through yoga and mediation as well as field trips to Mepkin Abbey and Asheville's Shambhala Buddhist Center, seeing the sights of New York, or studying French in Annecy, a town in southeastern France that's justly known as "the pearl of the French Alps." 

Closer to home, Film and Music students spent the week pondering questions like "How can music affect how we view a particular scene, and how can visual accompaniment influence our reception of a given piece of music?" CSI Heathwood students learned about forensic science from experts in the Richland County Sheriff's Department, and then solved a mock crime on our campus. Students in the landscape painting class spent the week with Heathwood art teachers and noted local artists, producing two paintings a day of different parts of the Heathwood campus.

The Winterim program is one of the most notable ways in which Heathwood takes learning beyond the classroom.

“Winterim is an Upper School program of distinction in which students have the opportunity to explore new disciplines and discover passions in ways that transcend the day-to-day classroom experience," said Upper School Head George Scouten, who was one of the faculty leaders on this year's trip to Germany.  "They not only interact with new people and cultures, but also gain new skills and knowledge. We know—through both research and experience—the enormous value of experiential learning, and Winterim allows students to learn in just such a manner.”