The Athletic Center was abuzz with the chatter of excited students on Thursday, December 9 as Upper Schoolers explored the innovative options available to them at this year’s Spring Unit Global & Experiential Learning Fair. Booths representing over 20 possible selections filled the space and faculty from each program were on hand to provide detailed information about their unique course.
Each course falls into one of four main focus areas: cultural immersion, environmental sustainability, experiential learning, and service learning. Select 11th and 12th grade students may apply to participate in the Spring Internship Program instead, allowing them in-depth exposure to professional careers.
Seniors Molly Walker and Chloe Wasser were all smiles as they debated their options. “Last year, we took a unit called Mental Health and Me,” said Chloe. “It ended up being a lot of fun, and we earned our Teen Mental Health First Aid Certification.”
“This year we would like to go hiking, so the Exploring the Arizona Canyonlands unit is our first choice,” Molly said, “and Through The Lens: Yellowstone National Park is our runner up.”
The choices available to students range from local, athlete-friendly sections like The Home Winds Farm Experience where students get first-hand experience at being a farmer on GSB’s very own Home Winds Farm to dramatic, isolated locales like Monhegan Island, located ten miles off the coast of Maine, in Maine Islands, Writers, and Artists. Some selections are newer to the roster, while others like the Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting unit is a longtime favorite.
First offered in 2010, NBC Lead Sports Anchor, Bruce Beck, has returned to GSB a half-a-dozen times because he “loves this school” as much as he “loves to help youngsters find their voice and to perfect their verbal skills in front of an audience.” The self-proclaimed Jersey boy admits that student mentorship is one of his favorite occupations and that his program is just as much about “teaching important life skills as it is about teaching broadcasting.”
Registration for the Spring Unit will begin on Monday, December 13. Students are guided to consider their academic passions first and to then select their top four choices based upon which units best address their particular interests. With so many creative and ground-breaking options to consider, the Spring Unit Program continues to be a cornerstone of Gill St. Bernard’s curriculum and educational philosophy, and one of the many components that set the school apart from its peers.