Intensives: Three Weeks of Immersion, Travel & Adventure
Many TNS graduates recall Intensives as unforgettable highlights of their high school experience. Every year, students spend three weeks creating, delving, often traveling, and pushing their limits. Intensives help them to get to know themselves better — their capabilities, passions, and perhaps what they would like to do more of during or after school.
Early in the school year students brainstorm the kinds of adventures and learning experiences they would like to have. They work with teachers to research the possibilities and figure out the logistics. They hold fundraising events to help cover the expenses. Faculty create areas of interdisciplinary study for students before and during the Intensives. Additionally, the students spend a portion or all of the intensive, volunteering in a community of need.
Through TNS Intensives, students gain real world experience, self-awareness, a spirit of adventure and memories that stay with them for a lifetime. Below are some examples of recent Intensives.
Students doing marine biology research in Puerto Rico during an Intensive
Four students spent two weeks working on a family-run ranch in Kansas that raises buffalo and organic wheat. Before and during the trip they studied the Dustbowl, the ecology of the prairie, Native American culture and the history of the Great Plains.
In 2013 the school purchased a 22′ sailboat. A group of five boys and TNS Social Studies & Science teacher Steve Schaefer, an expert sailor and boat builder, spent months outfitting the boat and getting it ready for a sailing adventure off the coast of CT. In addition to seamanship the group studied marine biology and the history of coastal communities in southern New England.
Intensives provide wonderful opportunities for immersion in the arts. TNS students have used the time to study and work with various artists, explore new mediums, visit museums and artists’ studios throughout New England and in New York City, and create exhibits of their work.
TNS students have traveled to several Latin American and European countries during Intensives. Many of these trips have involved community service, such as teaching English to school children, working in a shelter for battered women, or planting trees in a deforested area. History, ecology, native culture and of course, foreign language skills have been areas of study before and during these Intensives.