An education at The Williams School is so much more than a typical school. Students at Williams are immersed in a learning environment that encourages their personal and academic learning in every aspect of what they do. From traditional classroom learning to personal expression through art to athletic prowess, our students are always learning.
Experiential learning is promoted across our curriculum throughout the year and as a way to extend traditional classroom learning into the real world. Field trips, guest speakers, exploration through the internet all provide students with that extra opportunity to learn.
Recently students at Williams embarked on a variety of experiential learning opportunities that provided them with valuable learning lessons they will be able to apply now and in the future:
Seventh Grade Playwriting - Mrs. Ravenelle's seventh grade English class recently completed a unit on playwriting and they all submitted their work to the Eugene O'Neill Theater Young Playwrights Festival. Their focus to produce a play within the guidelines of the project is exemplary. We are all anxious to hear if any of our students will be selected to participate in the festival.
The Harlem Renaissance class attended a production at Longwharf Theatre, Smart People, and enjoyed a lively discussion with Barbara Hentschel, resident teaching artist at Long Wharf, the next day.
The Eleventh Grade attended Assassins at the University Theatre in New Haven and explored the Art Gallery at Yale.
The eighth grade girls spent a day at UCONN in Storrs immersed in a STEM program. The exploratory STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) conference was entitled Multiply Your Options. This annual conference has been held for eighth grade girls for the past 23 years. The girls spent the day with fantastic female STEM role models from the UConn School of Engineering Undergraduate Program. It was a day of inspiration for the young ladies as they prepare to make good choices both in high school and beyond.
Each student attended two workshop sessions, designed to acquaint students with applications of engineering, math, science, and technology in the real world. In the afternoon they attended two sessions called “Tool Clues.” Professional women brought in five objects or tools from their work place that gave clues as to what they do for a living. The students had to guess their profession based on the clues.
The girls learned a lot about the jobs that are available to them after college. It definitely got them thinking about the many opportunities within the STEM fields.
The seventh grade spent the day at Sturbridge Village exploring life in the 1830s. They posed as young travelers from the British Foreign Office, engaging with the village and its inhabitants, asking questions, apprenticing in the print making trade, and exploring the shops, farms, and homes. In the manner of Alexis de Toqueville's Democracy in America, students will present a study of life in America in 1830 as a culminating experience.
Students participate in Harvard Model Congress and Yale Model UN each year. Both provide our students an experience in government and political interactions that often inspires students in their college and career choices.
Our sixth grade local history class participates in a wide range of field trips throughout the greater New London area to allow students to experience and view what they study. Additionally we welcome visitors like Russel Learned '86 to school to share their knowledge of local history, which is part of our Williams history.
Our whole school participated in a day of reflection about empathy as we welcomed Rais Bhuiyan, Founder of World Without Hate.
On a fairly regular basis our science and art classes venture out and about on the Connecticut College campus and our athletic complex to complete a variety of projects and labs. The opportunity to use the resources of the college greatly enhances our curriculum.
Coming up on April 26, we will step away from our normal class day to spend the afternoon involved with a variety of Earth Day activities. This yearly event is planned by students, for students, and provides an experiential learning opportunity that also promotes personal growth.
All in all, our busy days provide for a learning experience that is somewhat unique to each student as we prepare them for college, the world, and the unknown.