This year’s Summer Scholars Program gave both students and teachers the power of creativity.
Each of the program’s five age groups — Tot (age 3-4), Mini (rising K-Gr. 1), Youth (rising Gr. 2-4), Junior (rising Gr. 4-6) and Senior (rising Gr. 7-10) — participated in a huge variety of activities across six weeks. Included alongside the ever-popular Swimming and Field Games were a variety of class offerings that reflected changing interests and technology; of the 120 courses, over half were brand-new.
The 2018 Summer Programs showed an increase in registrations, attendees, and new families. 695 total students participated, including 53% non-MFS students. 56 employees helped the courses come alive, and four partner programs – The Handwork Studio, HousePaws Vets in Training, the National Karate Institute and U.K. Elite Soccer – brought visiting specialists to MFS throughout the summer.
Parents have the freedom to register their children for weeks that reflect age-appropriate areas of interest. Each age group, for example, had classes during at least one weekly session that involved STEM activities. While the Tot Scholars observed the basic building blocks of coding through shapes and symbols, Junior Scholars explored the engineering of amusement parks and Senior Scholars created models with 3D printers.
Instructors also designed their summer curriculum so students could interact with other classes. In Week 3 of the Senior Scholars program, a PM Forensic Science class helped examine “evidence” in a full-day Mock Trial session. Director of Auxiliary Programs Martha Cameron finds that this model of learning empowers everyone, including the adults in the room.
“Teachers are very creative about adding lessons that feed off of each other,” Cameron says. “You’ve got a great idea? Run with it!”
This year also brought the addition of the International Scholars program, a global learning experience that took 12 Gr. 8-11 students on a two-week adventure to Salamanca, Spain. Upon returning, many students described the trip as transformative.
“We had happy kids and thrilled parents,” Cameron says. “The students got a real flavor of living in Spain; it was an academic experience in the morning and then a cultural immersion in the afternoon.”
Teachers are already eagerly discussing ideas for next summer’s program. Registration for 2019 begins on December 7; for more information visit the MFS Summer Scholars website.