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MBS Summer Institute Emphasizes Critical Creativity

This summer, the MBS Summer Institute is again giving students the opportunity to explore their passions and interests beyond the typical classroom with an assortment of courses that are hands-on, immersive, and team-taught by talented and enthusiastic teachers.

During the first week of the Summer Institute (August 5-9), Middle School students in the Tech Design Studio designed and prototyped a new piece of classroom technology using cardboard, wire, sticky notes and other “makerspace” materials. At the end of the week, they pitched their design to a stand-in client.

Upper School students in the Soundscapes course designed their own electronic music for raw film footage using Moog synthesizers, keyboards, alternate controllers, and the iPad. They discovered how the building blocks of music composition can be applied to their scores, as well as learning the science behind the sounds.

Another Upper School program, IdeaLab: Entrepreneurial Boot Camp was geared towards young innovators and creative thinkers. Students started the week by examining products that address problems in various sectors and explored the way that creative thinking takes place and shifts norms. Students then identified a problem in the area of their choice and used design thinking workshops to build a business solution. Finally, they pitched their idea to a local business leader.

In the second week (August 12-16) of the MBS Summer Institute, Middle School students are immersing themselves in critical thinking open-ended tasks in Ways Of World Making: Crafting Fantasy Worlds and Escape Room Challenge.

Ways of World Making: Crafting Fantasy Worlds is pure imaginative play, but it is also rigorous, leading students to puzzles of consistency, probability, natural laws, history and power. Starting with features and artifacts of our world, and taking inspiration from everything around them, students are being challenged to redesign reality.

In Escape Room Challenge, students are spending the week working as a team to design their own escape room in a classroom. Instructors are working with the students to create a setting, narrative structure, and theme for the room and designing a sequence of challenging puzzles for participants. Students will end the week by watching a group attempt to escape from the room they designed!  

For more information about the MBS Summer Institute, visit, email or call Dr. Amanda Gregory, Director of the Summer Institute, at (973) 539-3032 ext. 489.


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