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CBHS Students Take Mini-Expeditions for ‘Intensives Week’

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CBHS Students Take Mini-Expeditions for ‘Intensives Week’
Posted on 01/07/2015

Jan. 5-9 is Winter Intensives Week at the Portland Public Schools’ Casco Bay High School, where students engage in intensive weeklong learning on subjects that range from structural engineering and anatomy to playwriting and learning to fly on a trapeze.

Casco Bay High School is an expeditionary learning school. Intensives are mini-expeditions: one-week, elective courses that occur once in winter and once in spring. Students choose among more than a dozen course offerings and engage in in-depth study, all day for five days. The courses began on Monday, Jan. 5 and they run from 7:55 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. each day.

“It’s a pretty spectacular week for kids – and teachers,” said CBHS Principal Derek Pierce. “We probably have about 100 community partners during the week. Much of the work of the week will be showcased at an all-school assembly on Friday (Jan. 9).” That assembly will run from 12:55 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.

Pierce added, “We have about 10 CBHS alumni helping our teachers this week as "Alumni Intensive Teaching Fellows.”

The list of Winter Intensives 2015 is as follows:

Portland Pirates: Calling all aspiring business and sales folks, entrepreneurs and/or hockey enthusiasts! We will be working with the Portland Pirates, Junior Achievement and local business leaders to run our 10th annual “Casco Bay HS Night at the Pirates” and striving to sell out the January 23rd Pirates’ game. Casco Bay students have pitched scores of local businesses, created the business logo, appeared on TV and radio to promote the game and made nearly $50,000 over the years for CBHS through this partnership.

Documentary Skills:  Learn the skills of documentary multimedia, including photography and film. Work with professionals and create your own mini-documentary. This is specifically designed as training for juniors who want to be photographers and videographers for the spring documentary expedition. Juniors will have first pick, but others are welcome.

Structural Engineering: Why do bridges stand up? Why do bridges fall down? In this intensive students will investigate the forces involved in structures that support weight.

Geometry of Anatomy: The human skeletal system, no, your human skeletal system understood as a system of balancing tension and rigidity. With our experts from Maine Orthotics and Prosthetics, and tensegrity sculptures designed by mathematician Buckminster Fuller, we will explore the connection between structure and movement in the human body. Do you want to know your movement age? I sure do!

My Brother's Keeper: The Pitch:  In this intensive you will be asked to take on the role of an advertising firm and design a campaign for a real client. You'll start by learning about President Obama's new "My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge" (an initiative created to ensure that all young people reach their full potential) and the upcoming "My Brother's Keeper Community Summit" being planned by the City of Portland Mayor's office and the local branch of the NAACP. You'll then break into teams and design a communications plan targeting the youth audience. Working with local advertising and design professionals, you'll pitch your ideas and develop your campaign. This intensive, in which you'll look at and learn about educational opportunities in the context of race and ethnicity, earns social studies credit.

Philosophy of Love: We have all had our own experiences with love, and each one has been unique. This course is designed to explore the ideas behind this powerful aspect of human experience. Beginning with a close reading of Plato's Symposium, students will explore the varied ideas behind the phenomenon of love. Through discussion, reflecting, and writing, we will distinguish the different aspects of love, and pose the question: What is the role of love in the 21st century?

Journalism: Ever picture yourself as a newspaper columnist or TV Anchor Person? Then this is the intensive for you! Learn the theory and mechanics of good reporting and end the week with your own published piece.

Playwriting: Learn the fundamentals of playwriting. Write dialogue that sizzles. Create onstage visuals and actions that cannot be forgotten. Our aspiring playwrights will learn from local and historic masters and explore their own imagination and world view, ultimately creating their own one act or extended scene that showcases bringing your play to life through staging and physical acting. Think Shakespearean Sword Fighting!

Mindfulness and Fitness: This intensive will explore the connection between the mind and body and how mindfulness enhances a person's emotional, mental, and physical well being. We will engage in meditative practices while sitting, walking, and practicing yoga. Additionally, we will read and discuss the words and wisdom of historical teachings of mindfulness, naturalists, poets and essayists. Students will maintain daily reflection journals for writing and sketching. Our time will be spent both in and out of doors, and experts on mindfulness will share their practices with us.

Winter Sports: Never been downhill skiing? Never been skating? Sign up for an intensive that will introduce you to fun in the snow. All you need is a willingness to try new things; we will supply the rest. (Will involve one or more overnights).

Snowshoeing: Those interested in communing with nature will be able to take advantage of our winter overnight. Students will plan, travel to a remote location in Maine and spend time enjoying the great outdoors. We will be snow shoeing on local trails and experience the thrill of a night snowshoe.

Songwriting: Work with professional songwriters as you polish your own original song. This intensive brings the expertise of our friends at 317 Main Street with budding singer songwriters. Create a concert by week's end.

Artronics: Are you a programmer that also has an artistic side? How about an artist that loves technology? This intensive will combine the art world with computer programming to bring create interactive sculptures. Students will work in the robotics lab at USM and learn to write JAVA script. Using arduino boards, they will bring their sculptures to life.

International Dance: What could be better than spending a cold winter week in a warm dance studio, learning to move to music from all around the world? Do you know a dance from another country? Come and teach your peers! Do you know an amazing dancer from around the world who would be willing to teach us a dance? We'd love to have them! The types of dance will be determined by availability of teachers and interests of the participants.

Aerial Silks: Swing, spin, fly and climb on the aerial fabrics, hoop, hammocks, and trapeze! Each flyer will gain core strength, practice meditation yoga, and learn to improvise while working both individually and collaboratively on the apparatus. Students will practice controlling their bodies and minds, helping them to become high-flying trapeze masters. Each participant is encouraged to learn technique while playing and experimenting with the various low-flying apparatus.

Filmmaking: You have a story to tell. You can make a movie. In the CBHS Filmmaking Intensive, you will work with experts in the field to learn filmmaking skills such as: camera, editing, cinematography, shot grammar, lighting, and sound. After your training, you and your team will produce a short narrative film that will be screened at the CBHS FILM Night and added to the permanent CBHS Filmmaking Intensive Film Archive.

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CBHS students participate in a mini-expedition during Winter Intensives Week.

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CBHS students learn to how to use a trapeze during
Winter Intensives Week.

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CBHS students CBHS students learn to swing, spin, fly and climb on aerial fabrics, hoops, hammocks, and a trapeze during Winter Intensives Week.

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