While much of the academic year is spent learning inside a classroom, the last weeks of school are very different at The Storm King School. During this two-week period between the end of final exams and commencement, both students and faculty are encouraged to break out of the mold, shed all constraints, and spread their wings as they explore new subjects that spark their interests and passions. This is Storm King’s Q-Term—a time dedicated to experiential education that takes our students to interesting, sometimes off-the-grid locations throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.
The Q-Term is one of Storm King’s Signature Programs designed to enhance the School’s academic offering and allow students to put the skills and knowledge they learned during the year into action. Each Q-Term subject is a short, intensive, experiential course that allows students to be immersed in a subject of their choice. During the Q-Term, students meet with the same class and instructor every day and pursue only the subject related to their class. This focus creates an arena for project-based learning, experiential adventure, creative design, and service opportunities that enrich and deepen students’ connection to the subject matter at hand.
Each year, Storm King faculty create an engaging roster of Q-Term courses that appeal to a wide range of interests from engineering and the sciences, to history, art, music, travel, and many others. For example, the 2019 Q-Term called Exploring the City of Brotherly Love featured a trip to Philadelphia, PA, where students visited historical sites including the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, and the Museum of the American Revolution and enjoyed the “best Philly Cheesesteaks ever.”
The Atlas Adventures Q-Term took students to interesting and remote locations across the region which they researched and chose themselves. Students visited the Peakamoose River and the legendary Mary Jane Mine in the Catskill Mountains, ate at the famous Cake Box Bakery as they explored the historic town of Kingston, NY, and dined at the iconic Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia, NY. Another popular Q-Term focusing on history and architecture in the Hudson Valley took students to New York City to learn about the history of its famous skyscrapers firsthand.
Closer to the Mountain, music enthusiasts in the Q-Term titled Crossroads: The Mississippi Delta Blues worked hard to perform a fantastic blues concert at the end of the course, some having never performed on stage before. Others learned about horticulture, soil testing, the conservation of bee populations, and angling techniques as they visited local freshwater sites and planted trees and flowers throughout the campus in the Angling & Horticulture Conservatory Q-Term.
Additional 2019 Q-Term courses included Intro to Engineering, America’s Pastimes, Buddha, Buddhism, & Zen, Computer Aided Design, Prototyping & 3D Printing, Farm to Table, Forensic Study, Mural Painting, and Survival/Wilderness Training. With the continued success of subjects like these, the course roster for the upcoming 2020 Q-Term can only get better.