Although classes are not being held in person this summer, students are currently engaged in an array of enrichment courses online as part of the MBS Summer Institute. Upper School students recently completed a course in “Personal Writing and the College Essay,” while Middle School students are enjoying classes in writing, mathematics, the performing arts, and coding.
This year’s MBS Summer Institute is being held from July 20 – 31. During the first week, Upper School students worked with MBS Head Librarian Erinn Salge on a variety of writing exercises designed to unlock their ability to write about themselves in a way that is honest, compassionate, and compelling. By assessing essential questions, analyzing each other's work, and putting their fingers to the keyboard, the students worked towards a draft of a college application essay that is impossible to say ‘no’ to.
In “Math Madness,” taught by Kelly Mauger and Natalie Marone, Middle School students are getting a chance to polish their math skills and get a leg up on the year through math-centered projects and puzzles. In a low stress environment, they are building their skills in fractions, algebraic manipulations and variables, number sense, error analysis, and beyond.
In another team-taught course, “Wordsmithing: Writing Skills Through Creativity,” instructors Andrew Holbrook and Sharon Phelan are helping students improve their writing skills in a fun environment using weird and creative prompts and exercises. The students recently studies a painting and wrote descriptions of the man’s face in order to learn how details can reveal character. They also used a “word wheel” to build vocabulary and make their language more precise.
MBS Middle School mathematics teacher Jennifer Rose is helping students take first steps into the world of programing with an introduction to Scratch, a programming language from the MIT Media Lab designed to encourage playful, creative, and collaborative reasoning and problem-solving. Working with the Scratch app, students are tackling problems, trouble-shooting as a team, and strengthening their coding skills.
Ms. Rose is also teaching “Monologues: Performing and Writing,” to help aspiring writers, actors, directors, or anyone interested in creative self-expression, to develop a voice, imagine the world from another perspective, and understand what it means to invent a character and bring them to life. During the course, students have been writing and rehearsing a variety of monologues, which will culminate with a live reading for invited guests.