Winterim is the centerpiece of Lawrence Academy's commitment to immersive education -- learning in the concrete and physical world of activity as a complement to learning in the vicarious and symbol-filled world of traditional classrooms.
Note: Individual programs are subject to change.
The Winterim program is an opportunity to explore a broader range of subjects and skills than is otherwise possible in a regular classroom. In that spirit, student reporters assist the LA communications staff in covering their classmates' experiences, while gaining some knowledge of their own.
For a more historical perspective, check out the 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 Winterim Blogs (posted together below). You may also view 2014, 2013, the 2012 Winterim Photo Gallery, and the 2011 Winterim Blog.
Our hashtag on social media is #LAWinterim.
Basic Tools for the Long-Term
by Spencer Akers ‘18
When people outside of the Lawrence Academy community hear the word "Winterim", they may give a look of bemusement.
In short, Winterim at LA is a time for students to extend their learning outside of the classroom. There's no in-class learning in the month of March. There are no tests. No papers with a strict deadline. For students, this can create a feeling of joy, excitement, and curiosity.
The same goes for teachers...
Cheryl Bell, a first-year science teacher at LA, is in charge of the Winterim program "Quilting is Sew Easy", where students learn to sew and put together quilts. Ms. Bell is no stranger to the prep school environment, as she has worked for four different prep schools over the course of her career.
"[Other] schools have a two-week programs, but it doesn't compare to what we have here at Lawrence Academy,” Ms. Bell said. “What I found so intriguing about this Winterim was that I had a background in quilting and I was thrilled and shocked that the school had a two-week concentration on the subject."
Other than learning how to sew, Ms. Bell has other hopes for her students during Winterim as well.
“I hope that my students learn to problem-solve from this Winterim," she said. "When their machine breaks, when they cut a piece of the quilt too short, I hope experiences like these teach them to problem-solve."
English teacher Matt Smith, who will be leading the varsity boys’ lacrosse program in his first year working at LA, leads the woodworking Winterim.
"It's really an extension of the classroom learning, except more hands-on,” explained Mr. Smith. “We show the students the basics of using tools and safety instructions; otherwise, we let them just have at.
"It's their furniture to build, and they design it the way they want, and they know what materials they need."
When asked what he hopes his students get out of the experience, his responded, "I hope that they will learn how to plan and organize a hands-on project. I hope that they will learn the basics of using tools so if they're attacking a project they will know what tools they will need."
Coach Smith just bought a house two years ago; he was able to do the roofing and remodel the kitchen himself. When asked how he would relate that experience to this Winterim, he said, "I would love for the students to be able to do that if they are in that position as adults."
To all people who find the concept of Winterim different, you're not alone. However, and above all else, the idea is to find a hands-on activity that can teach you intangible lessons.
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