One of the most distinguishing elements of a St. Thomas Aquinas High School education is Winterterm. Four days of meaningful, enriching educational experiences provides our students an opportunity to push pause on their busy lives and focus on the singular task at hand before them. And more often than not, that “task at hand” is absolutely fascinating.
This year, our Saints participated in courses such as:
Biomedical Engineering- students learned about the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and healthcare for the purposes of advancing diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
AMC’s A Mountain Classroom- students explored the White Mountains as an integrated learning experience that merged environmental education, personal development and team-building in a hiking-based program.
Exploration of Service Agencies- students became acquainted with important local service agencies and learned why they exist, how they operate, who they serve, and their mission. In addition to learning the agencies’ missions, students rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside the employees and volunteers who spend their days making a positive difference in the community.
Criminal Justice- students were introduced to the criminal justice system by meeting and interacting with police, court officials, and corrections facility employees.
Food Appreciation- students centered their attention on the staples of the culinary world (cheese, meat, honey, chocolate, olive oil, vinegar, and salt) and learned to appreciate the work, traditions and flavors that are involved in creating exquisite cuisine.
Personal Finance, Investing, Entrepreneurship- students studied these three big elements involved in achieving financial independence. They visited local companies and learned about behavioral economics and cognitive biases that tend to separate people from their money.
Vocal Master Classes- students worked on healthy vocal techniques, performance production and execution, and learned the appropriate stylistic approaches to singing jazz, pop, musical theater, and classical music.
Peru & South Africa- students participated in international trips that introduced them to the sights, smells, and textured cultural differences in both these beautiful countries. The students in South Africa lived and volunteered on a game reserve while our Peruvian explorers served the needs of an orphanage. Both groups returned to the United States with a new appreciation and awe of our world’s vast beauty and common humanity.
Internships & Independent Studies- education, health care, publishing, and government are only some of the many varied internship and independent study opportunities seized by our students.
Winterterm 2020 ignited and stretched our students’ curiosity in all directions. It was a week of tremendous exploration and experiential opportunities. Whether our students traveled abroad, visited local businesses, participated in an internship/independent study, or delved into a new area of interest on campus, we saw raw adolescent wonder alive and thriving.
It is one of the many, many things that separates St. Thomas Aquinas High School from all other high schools and lends a whole new conceptual framework to the traditional “scope and sequence” of education.
#aimhigh #soar higher