Colorado Springs, Colorado - At The Colorado Springs School (CSS) seminars are at the heart of experiential education and hands-on learning. In the Middle School, sixth - eighth grade students have the opportunity to experience and study a particular topic authentically, using primary research, all in an effort to enhance "enduring understanding." Middle School seminars are underway from February 17 - February 20, 2015.
During the "Feeling the World in Different Ways" seminar (picture and course description below),students explored a variety of paralympic sports, including wheelchair basketball, at The United States Olympic Training Center.
All seminar courses have been placed in five different categories: Outdoor Education, Arts, STEM, Life Skills, and Social/Current Issues. These categories help guide a student to step outside of their comfort zones and discover new passions.
2015 CSS Seminar II Course Offerings
Feeling the World in Different Ways
In Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus tells his daughter, Scout, that "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." We will attempt to do just that in this seminar designed to help foster empathy within each of us. During our time together, we will explore the cultures of those who are deaf, blind or paralyzed and meet people who not only live with these disabilities but also thrive with them every day. We will meet a guide dog team and learn about raising a puppy for companion work. We will spend a morning at the Olympic Training Center playing several different Paralympic sports (sitting volleyball, goalball and wheelchair basketball), and we may have the privilege of speaking with a Paralympic athlete. We also hope to spend time at Colorado College meeting an inspirational soccer player who only has a left leg and recently competed in Mexico at the 2014 Amputee World Cup. Using only parts of our bodies, we will try to create art with Mr. Wolfe and ride adaptive bicycles at Angle Tech. We will also visit the Alpine Autism Center to observe and learn about children with autism. After experiencing some of the challenges associated with different handicaps, we will examine ways to make a positive difference in the world. We will speak with the woman who helped design a wheelchair-accessible playground in town and meet her high-school daughter who uses a wheelchair. If possible, we will get the opportunity to interact and play with children who use wheelchairs every day. Ultimately, we will learn that the only disability in life is a bad attitude. Join us for a truly memorable seminar that will challenge, teach and inspire.
Instructors: Mrs. Hatch and Ms. Beardsley
Course Category: Social/Current Issues
Calling All Bakers: JUST DESSERTS!
What is your favorite dessert? Do you like desserts made out of fruit, ice cream, cake or chocolate? If so, this seminar is going to be one, sweet experience for you! On this culinary adventure, we will be exploring the delectable world of desserts. You will learn the basics of baking, some decorating techniques, and how to make various dietary substitutions. For example, you will be making crepes, gourmet cupcakes, fondue, candy molds, homemade ice cream, cookies, and edible fruit arrangements. You will then use frosting, glaze, and fondant to put the finishing touches on your delectable treats. While you create these desserts, we will discuss and test healthy substitutions. By the end of the week, you will be well prepared to design the perfect dessert for a client who will commission your sweet services. Your team will need to interview the client, come up with the perfect dessert, find a recipe, shop within your budget for ingredients and decorations, and then prepare the dessert. Once the desserts are all completed, a panel of judges will award prizes in various categories for the winning creations.
Instructors: Mrs. Johnston and Ms. Wills
Course Category: Life Skills
Build it Yourself: Construction Skills
The purpose of this course will be to develop an idea and make it into a reality. We will attempt to create three-dimensional learning by rebuilding and creating structures. This starts with understanding the process of construction. We will participate in many roles and responsibilities of people, tools, and materials involved in the art of construction. Students will use hand and power tools. They will need to utilize their problem-solving skills and work collaboratively with others. Students will work in teams that have specific responsibilities each day. The culmination of the week will be to fulfill "contracts" by producing quality structures/objects that provide for an intended use. This seminar will happen primarily on campus.
Instructor: Mr. Biedermann
Course Category: Life Skills
Wax on Fire
Melting, pouring, freezing, dipping, and burning. These are some of the things we will do in this fire and candle-making seminar. Students will learn chemistry related to making candles and burning them. This will be done within a student-driven engineering and design process. Individual students will identify candle-making challenges they want to solve, and they will form groups based on which challenge they want to take on. It will then be time for prototyping and the testing-redesigning-modifying-retesting process. By the end of the course, students who successfully navigate their challenge will likely come home with interesting and innovative candle designs in addition to their own candle mold. All engaged students will complete the course with an understanding of candle-making and burning processes, knowledge of how to safely handle fire and molten liquids, and direct experience in the engineering and design process. This seminar does not include any overnights; most of our time will be spent doing hands-on activities on campus. The course is intended for students who like to explore, experiment, and create. Students should have the maturity to safely handle fire, high temperature liquids, and cutting utensils.
Instructor: Mr. Gaylord and Dr. Cummings
Course Category: Arts
Students will learn about the wild animals of Colorado, which range from reptiles, to fish, to mammals and birds. During these four days we will talk to a variety of wildlife
professionals and spend lots of time outdoors viewing wildlife on our own. We will research different wildlife issues and discuss possible solutions. We will trap and band
raptors, track deer, fox, and elk, and observe bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope. We will visit a wolf sanctuary, and we will identify many songbirds that are common to our
backyards. Students will get a chance to handle live animals. They will also learn about endangered species and develop skills for finding, approaching and photographing or
drawing wild animals.
Course Category: STEM
Wild Winter on the White River Plateau
Students will have the opportunity to use and develop interpersonal, leadership, and outdoor skills in winter survival field sessions and on an expedition to Fulford Cave in the White River National Forest of Colorado. This expedition will involve snowshoeing to the cave at just under 10,000 feet, gearing up, and then entering the 8th largest cave system in Colorado, complete with an underground river, waterfall, and spectacular ice formations. Students will learn important winter body management concepts, how to organize an expedition, a variety of wilderness skills, and cave conservation issues and techniques. We will stay for three nights (February 17-19, 2014) in cabins at Sylvan Lake State Park and use them as the base for our expedition and field sessions. After our successful and rewarding trip into Fulford Cave, we will be rejuvenated by a soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs. If students are interested in expanding their outdoor skills repertoire and are prepared for a rigorous, yet exciting, expedition into the underground world, then this is the seminar for them.
Instructors: Mr. White and Mrs. Pereda
Category: Outdoor Education
ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS SCHOOL (CSS)
CSS offers an experiential educational curriculum for PreKindergarten - 12th graders. Through superior academics and mentoring, The Colorado Springs School prepares students to think independently and to meet the needs of a dynamic world with leadership, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and personal integrity. Learn more at www.css.org or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheColoradoSpringsSchoolAttached Media Files: CSS students participate in wheelchair basketball at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs