Project Week Preview: Experiential Learning Opportunities at New Hampton School

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Project Week is less than five weeks away! Students and faculty are finalizing their itineraries for the various learning activities that will take place. Each student will participate in one of eleven off-campus projects, six near-campus projects, or thirteen on-campus projects and will conduct a vigorous investigation of an essential question through outstanding educational opportunities outside of the classroom setting. They will self-reflect about the process, experience, and outcomes of their project throughout the week.

Each year, students and faculty work together to investigate learning opportunities and submit proposals for their project of choice. After narrowing down through a selection process, a project fair allows students to consider options and make an informed selection. While there are different projects every year, here are some much-anticipated projects in 2020.

Project week
Alumnus and restauranteur, Joe Ardagna ’80

How can we create and maintain a successful restaurant business?

Atlanta, Georgia (Off-Campus)

For this project, current senior Steven Ardagna ’20 worked with his father and New Hampton alumnus Joe Ardagna ’80 to create an opportunity to educate students on what it takes to open and run a successful restaurant business. Students learn how a restaurant is maintained, hiring practices, and other aspects of owning and operating a business. Additionally, students will be exposed to different roles in the restaurant industry.

Project week

How can we make small changes in our daily routines that will have a lasting positive effect on our communities and our own health?

New Hampton, New Hampshire (On-Campus)

Over the week, students will travel to local businesses and farms to learn about how we source our food and skincare products. We will apply this knowledge by creating personalized skincare products that are customized to fit each of our individual skincare needs. We will cook nutritious meals that use local products to nourish our bodies better and help us perform better in class and on the athletic field.

How does the Mariposa Foundation put its mission, “to educate and empower girls to create sustainable solutions to end generational poverty” into action?

Mariposa, Dominican Republic (Off-Campus)

The Mariposa Foundation is a nonprofit organization that combats generational poverty in the Dominican Republic by empowering adolescent girls. They are guided by the “Girl Effect” approach to social justice. This strategy helps young women gain access to education and employment, which enables them to become agents of change, breaking the cycle of poverty. Students on this trip will learn more about the world-renowned Mariposa Foundation and do our small part to support their noble efforts. Before leaving for this trip, Naia ’21 has been leading an additional service project to increase benefits for students in the D.R.

Project Week takes students on adventures in experiential learning, both on campus and around the globe.

How can we use our time and talents to help underprivileged students at the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada?

Ontario, Canada (Off-Campus)

Oak McLeod ’20, a Canadian student, helped plan this project where students will volunteer at I.L. Thomas Elementary School, located on the Six Nations Reserve, near the town of Caledonia, Canada. During Project Week Pre-Meetings students will gain a greater understanding of aboriginal history in Canada, as well as customs, traditions, and current events. Each day, students will embed with students at the I.L. Thomas Elementary School, helping with reading, learning, and other activities.

Project Week
The Presidential Traverse

What can adversity teach us about ourselves, our peers, and our connection to the natural environment?

Presidential Mountain Range, New Hampshire (Near-Campus)

A winter traverse of the Presidential Range is one of the most coveted–and challenging–mountaineering feats in the Northeast. For students looking to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone, and grow through adversity, this presidential traverse is over 20 miles long and crests nine major peaks over 4,000ft. The majority of the climb is above the tree line, exposing participants to winter elements, the White Mountains’ notorious winds, and stunning views. You can expect long days outside with exceptional rewards. Students will also gain a more profound respect for the natural environment, their peers, and themselves.

Project Week
Matt Brown in his studio.

In what ways does the traditional method of Japanese woodblock printing support a connection to the natural environment?

New Hampton, New Hampshire (On-Campus)

This project will consist of a three-day workshop with artist Matt Brown, a visit to his Moku-Hanga (Japanese woodblock printing) studio in Lyme, NH, and a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA as well as Dartmouth’s Hood Museum in Hanover, NH. In viewing traditional Japanese beliefs, there is a deep respect for the natural world and our connection to it. Through direct experience, students will have the opportunity to investigate the interconnection between the method and this sensitivity and respect for nature.

This is not an exhaustive list of projects for the year. Several past favorites have returned, and other projects include Art and Architecture in Catalonia, History of Women’s Rights in Washington, D.C., Island of Migration in Greece, Photography in Prague, Sailing in the USVI, African-American History in Savannah, Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman, Avalanche Certification in Utah, Eating for Longevity in Italy, Fashion Design in NYC, Blacksmithing, Ice Fishing, Podcasting, Lifeguard Training, Building a Computer and more. The countdown to this year’s Project Week is on!

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