With another successful Explore Week behind us — and the celebration last weekend of our 25th anniversary of reengaging youth in their own education — Eagle Rock School is back to normal, with students absorbed in a number of new classroom experiences.
“Back to normal” might be a stretch when it comes to our campus, which has pretty much been delivering progressive education to its student body for what is currently the halfway point of our 75th trimester.
A second collection of five-week classes is underway at Eagle Rock, with offerings that include hands-on internships at the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, methods of creating actual change in society, the meditative mode of Buddhism, and even a class on the coolness of comics.
Here then is the second installment of ER-75 classroom adventures at Eagle Rock:
RMNP Internship: Students accepted into this program are performing internships within the Rocky Mountain National Park. Students are participating in a number of divisions, including trails, recycling, fire fuels reduction, and educating the park’s visitors. Best yet, these internships can turn into a paycheck over the summer months with a number of Park Service career opportunities available.
Psychology of Sport: Psychology of Sports has students looking at their minds and their bodies in a new way. Class discussions revolve around how engaging in sports can affect overall health. Students are collecting information on their performance in sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball, and see how we can progress — no matter our previous experience.
Buddhist Thought: In this class, students are taking a largely secular view of life and its problems — but not ignoring the spiritual dimension. The centerpiece of the approach is the practice of mindful meditation. Students are studying the philosophy of Buddhism, which describes how humans who suffer can end that suffering. The end objective is to discover truths that can improve lives.
Shape of Space: Geometry — both ancient and modern — can guide us in an understanding of the variety of shapes and space around us. In this class, students are traveling from a two-dimensional flatland into four-dimensional space by exploring and embracing the innovations of mathematicians and physicists. Students in this class are discussing the applications of geometry as they study the world around us.
Nature’s Inventions: Nature has been the inspiration behind many human innovations. In this class, students will discover that bullet trains were made faster thanks to the Kingfisher bird. And lightbulbs are brighter thanks to fireflies. Even Velcro was the result of an inspiration in nature. Through the lens of biology, physics and creativity, students are discovering how animals and natural systems have been so successful — and how humans can apply those elements to solve complex problems. Participants in this class will become junior bioengineers by developing their own model or invention.
Sports as America: In this class, students are exploring the rules and reality of America by studying the nature and history of its most popular sports. Take, for example, the social and political context of historical moments like Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Participants are looking at the differences between sports found in the United States and sports from other countries, and they’re discussing what our sports say about our culture. Field trips include attending baseball games in Denver, where students are wearing anthropologist caps instead of Rockies headgear.
Comics Rule: Who decided tiny drawings and speech bubbles were a good way to tell a story? In this class, students are examining the choices that comic book authors and artists make when telling a story as well as the elements they use to create them. They are also discussing the cultural significance of comics and how iconic characters — not always superheroes — reflect the society in which they were created. At the end of the trimester, students will be using elements of this medium in order to communicate their findings.
Outdoor Leadership: This outdoor leadership class removes students from the confines of four walls and into Wilderness to discover what it means to be a leader in a variety of outdoor settings. In addition, students are offered the opportunity to become certified in First Aid and CPR.
Eagle Rock School Community Conference: In the class, students are learning about the positive effects of conferences as movements toward social change. Among their activities are working alongside staff allies to create and execute a daylong conference that brings attention and solution to one major issue at Eagle Rock School. They will learn the logistics of planning a conference, including creating a budget, planning presentations, and public speaking in order to affect change.
Internships: Eagle Rock School’s internship program puts students into a workplace where they are exposed to experiences they can’t get in a classroom setting. This career-focused program — where the students work real jobs without compensation — focuses on enabling students to apply classroom learning to real world work situations. And for some, it might identify a career they want to pursue.