As the 2020-2021 school year wound to a close, our students and faculty had the chance to explore new subjects, get together, and get back outside during Q-Term week. Q-Terms are SKS Signature Courses– short, intensive courses that take place outside of SKS’ regular academic schedule designed to encourage students and faculty to collaborate, create, innovate, think critically, and solve problems while immersed in their subject of choice.
Q-Term courses are usually offered during the 2-week period between final exams and commencement. This year, as pandemic restrictions began to ease, students were given the opportunity to sign up and participate in many engaging 5-day Q-Term courses, several of which were conducted outdoors.
For example, students who participated in ‘The Appalachian Trail Project’ Q-Term experienced outdoor hiking adventures along the Appalachian Trail. This well-known hiking trail passes just south of The Storm King School as it runs its course of 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. Students hiked nearby sections of the trail while they completed projects related to their preferred subject area. A bonus– they learned some important wilderness survival skills along the way.
Students who signed up for the ‘Destination Waterfall’ course also had great outdoor experiences as they discovered the area’s scenic natural waterfalls while they produced videos, journals, and reflective writing pieces inspired by their trips. Their destinations included Bushkill Falls in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Kaaterskill Falls nestled in New York’s Catskill Mountains, and Indian Brook Falls in the Constitution Island Marsh and Nature Preserve in nearby Garrison, NY.
In the ‘Engineering with Rocket Science’ Q-Term, science-minded students got a flavor for what real-life engineering is all about as they surveyed the historical development of rocket flight and worked together to design, build, fly, and evaluate model rockets using the principles of real rocket science.
Most of the Q-Terms offered this year were also designed to be ‘online friendly,’ making it easy for our remote students to participate. A favorite among our online students was ‘Stop-motion Photography,’ where students learned this animated film-making technique step-by-step to create their own stop-motion film featurette.
Another online-friendly Q-Term covered ‘Investing Strategies & Analysis,’ where students engaged stock analysis, along with bond and mutual fund investing. Trading was done using The Stock Market Game platform and the group explored the frenzy surrounding Game Stop that upended some big-time Wall Street investors.
Additional Q-Term courses included Digital Drawing and Painting with ProCreate, Photography: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Sequential Art, Songwriting and Music Production, Wanderlust! Leaving Nothing But Digital Footprints, Angling and Horticulture Conservatory, Forensic Study,Thinking Big: Mural Painting, Which One Is Pink: A Musical Production, Which One Is Pink: Behind the Scenes – Stage Crew, and Woodworking.
Despite the challenges this year, our faculty once again created an engaging roster of Q-Term courses to choose from that appealed to a wide range of interests and was accessible to all of our students whether in-person or online. We can’t wait for next year’s Q-Terms which can only get better!