ESW on Twitter 2018

Canada: Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa

Chesapeake Bay Environment and History

Due to the forecasted weather, bay, and road conditions this week, weather this week, the Chesapeake Bay ESW was cancelled. Plan B! Group leaders will take the 6th grade to the Baltimore Aquarium on Monday to conduct science-related activities, and plan local activities for the rest of the week.

Documenting Change

Food, Glorious Food!

Youth Service Opportunities

Extended Study Week Program Descriptions

3-D Printing

(Grades 9-12)

How can I express my creativity using the technology of 3D printing?

The technology of 3D printing has changed the way we think about making 3D objects. It is used in architecture to make 3D models, in industry to develop prototypes, in art to create beauty, and in medicine to make prostheses. You can print on metals, plastic, and hundreds of materials; new ones are being developed for novel applications. Futurists imagine functional body organs replicated using the right material, for implants in humans or, at a more pedestrian level, a 3D printer in every household to make chocolate or pasta forms.

In this ESW, students will learn to use the 3D Printing software TinkerCAD and 1-2-3 Design to bring their own ideas into reality. Students will have to blend their creativity with technical know-how: imagine it, design it, and make it.

Chesapeake Bay Environment and History

(Grade 6)

How has history impacted the bay? How has the bay impacted history?

Connecting science and their learning of American culture in Humanities, Grade 6 students will engage in field investigations, which will incorporate some or all of the following topics:

  • History and folklore of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Underwater grasses
  • Crabbing, fishing, and oystering
  • Salt marsh explorations
  • Field journals and naturalist views
  • Weather watch

Students will be staying two nights and three days at the Karen Noonan Center in Bishops Head, Maryland.

Canada: Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa

(Grades 7-8)

How has Canada developed its current identity?

Canada is the second largest country in the world and a nation of great ethnic and cultural diversity. This educational travel is a vital part of a complete education. It expands views, promotes understanding, and provides first-hand experiences of classroom lessons from geography, science, art, history, languages and culture.

Some of the highlights of this trip include: Musée de la Civilization, la Citadelle, Old Québec & Château Frontenac, Montreal Science Museum, entertainment at a sugar shack, Notre Dame Basilica, an 18 century Pirate-themed dinner and more.

Documenting Change

(Grades 9-12)

How do documentary filmmakers' choices shape viewers' understanding of social movements?

Documenting Change will explore the medium of documentary film. We will examine how documentaries depict issues like the struggle for racial justice, efforts to combat climate change and pollution, and many more. We will also look at how films themselves can create change. To do this, we will watch films about a wide array of topics and representing various filmmaking techniques. Each student will also complete an independent project comparing multiple documentaries on a single topic of the student's choice. The course will include both writing and discussion as well as trips off campus.

Food, Glorious Food!

(Grades 6-8)

How does our food reflect our culture?

In this program students will investigate the origins of the food we eat everyday, as well as the food of different cultures. How does food get from the farm to our table? What happens to make it look and taste good? What does it mean to eat healthy? How much does food cost and why? These are some of the questions students in the Food, Glorious Food! ESW will be investigating as they visit local farms, grocers, restaurants, and food pantries.

We will have fun experimenting with different taste combinations, food preparation techniques, and culinary philosophies. Each morning will begin with student-planned and prepared breakfasts followed by daytrips to interview professionals, tour facilities, and participate in workshops. At the end of the ESW, students will prepare one or more of the following working in small groups: A cookbook based on their experience, a film of cooking demonstrations, or a PSA about nutrition and trends in the food industry.


(Grades 9-12)

What was the experience of enslaved Ghanaians? How did Ghanaian culture serve as a response to the horrors of slavery?

This program will trace the historic journey of enslaved Africans from the interior of Ghana to their final voyages across the Atlantic. Working with Grand Classroom, we will visit Kumasi, heart of the ancient Ashanti kingdom; move down the "slave river" to the village of Assin Manso; and visit the dungeons and Door of No Return at the Elmina and Cape Coast slave castles.

We will also have the opportunity to speak with Ghanaian historians in Accra, visit local craft villages (and possibly learn to make traditional crafts ourselves), peruse goods in an African market, and walk across a rainforest canopy on a rope bridge.

Musical Theater

(Grades 9-12)

Why is musical theater compelling, and in some cases, timeless?

Students will take a weeklong journey, experiencing the musical theater stage both as professionals and patrons. Students will spend two days in the DC/Baltimore area, visiting theaters and meeting theater professionals. Students will also spend three days in New York’s Theater District, learning about the industry and experiencing Broadway musicals, which could include Once on This Island, Come from Away, and/or Dear Evan Hansen.

Range of Light

(Grades 9-12)

Can the stillness of a photograph move the world to change?

The varied and beautiful landscape of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range has been the focus of both artistic and conservationist efforts for decades. Located in the heart of the Sierra, Yosemite National Park stands out for its exceptional beauty and fragility. For many, the first exposure to Yosemite came via the stunning photographs of Ansel Adams, and photography remains an ideal way to explore this jewel of the Sierra. In this ESW, we will not only learn the practice of fine art landscape photography, but also to appreciate the natural beauty that our planet has to offer and the need to fight for its conservation. In addition to this, our travel plans will give us the opportunity to explore and photograph the unique ecology and wildlife of the California coast in and around the San Francisco Bay.

Winging It!

(Grades 6-8)

What are the essential characteristics of human flight?

In our age of normalized air travel, we no longer have to wonder what it would be like to fly through the clouds like a bird. Somehow though, flight still captures the human imagination like nothing else, inspiring joy, wonder, and even fear!

In this ESW we’ll be learning the history of flight and the science of aerodynamics, and apply it in a bunch of exciting projects: building parachutes and hot air balloons, flying model airplanes and rockets, and indoor skydiving! We’ll also learn the ground-based applications of aerodynamic theory in wind turbines and sailing, and the current and forthcoming engineering innovations that will power our future!

Youth Service Opportunities

(Grades 9-12)

What does it mean to be hungry and homeless?

At the Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP), students spend a week helping people who are poor, hungry and homeless. Students will travel around DC by metro or by foot to service sites around the city to prepare and serve meals at a soup kitchen, sort and distribute items at a clothing and furniture bank, and provide recreational activities and companionship to young children and senior citizens. After the day of service, everyone returns to YSOP to reflect on impressions from the day. One night during the camp, students prepare a meal and share it over games and conversations with homeless people.