Winterim is a required weeklong experiential learning program that provides 7th – 12th grade Dawson students the opportunity to explore a wide range of educational options outside of the classroom.  The Dawson faculty has again put together a selection of programs that offer our students unique and challenging opportunities.  

2015 Winterim Website

Sample Upper School Experiences

Boston College Tour

This program is open to juniors and sophomore who are interested in getting a jump on the college admissions process. The trip will include visits to colleges and universities in the Boston area and historical attractions in Boston. This trip will provide students a clearer understanding of what is expected in the college admissions process.  We will be visiting different size schools, in rural, suburban and urban locations as well as varying selectivity.  Students will be expected to keep a journal of their impressions of each college as a way to help define their own desires for their undergraduate education.

Build a Chair: Express Yourself in Wood

An inspiration to anyone who enjoys working with their hands, students will use the concept of a chair to explore their own creativity. We will study artists and selected periods of furniture from history thru current day. We will look at images of Egyptian and African chairs as well as chairs made by contemporary artists. We will examine what it means to be inspired by another artist. We’ll discover what it means to borrow an idea and view examples of artists who were inspired by other artists thus learning about what they created from this inspiration and interpretation.

Chicago: Explore the Dramatic Side

Join us for a performing arts and cultural immersion in the most comprehensive and affordable theater city in the US. This week in Chicago gives you a chance to explore comedy and musical theater by participating in workshops with professional comedians and actors.   Activities will include comedy workshops at Second City and acting workshops with a musical theater troupe along side professional actors and directors. In addition to the workshops, we will explore the cultural history of the city through boat tours, dining out, visiting museums and seeing

Circle the Globe

Colorado is a cultural oasis in the Midwest. You will be totally surprised by what you can find on your doorstep.  It is home to many different races of people, from around the globe and is the modern day melting pot of American culture. If you know where to look, you can experience new cultures and languages right here in Colorado. This Winterim examines the diverse cultural heritage of Colorado and the immigrants that make up the state. You can expect an explosion of contrasting languages, cultures, music, food and living experiences.  

Colorado Skier

This Winterim is designed to teach students how to explore many different ways of getting around on the mountain.   Students will learn how to telemark ski, skate ski, classic cross-country ski, downhill ski and snowboard.  There will also be instruction on how to ski moguls for downhill skiers who are ready for that challenge. We will work with Eldora’s Ski Patrol and learn how to be safe in the backcountry.  Students will learn Avalanche prevention skills, as well as basic Jr. Ski Patrol skills. 

Do What You Love. Love What You Do.

Have you ever wondered how Oprah Winfrey, Warren Miller, and Mark Zuckerberg developed their passions and ideas into successful businesses? Are you inspired by companies such as Modcloth, Instagram, and TOMS? Do you dream about finding a career that centers on the things you love? Spend a week in Boulder, the city Business Week has named “America’s best town for start-ups,” touring local businesses and getting to know some of the area’s most innovative and creative entrepreneurs. Attend workshops designed to teach you the fundamentals of business development, and Skype with some of the country’s most innovative business leaders. 

Food and Community

Designed to help students experience the process of growing and cooking food, as well as to get them thinking about how food can bring people together, participants in this Winterim will go “behind the scenes” to learn about how food is both grown and turned into delicious meals while also getting the chance to help others who do not always have the regular access to food that we often take for granted. 

Glass Blowing 

Students will learn the ancient art of glass blowing with local artist Angelo Ambrosia from Ambrosia Glass Art. This Winterim will provide hands-on instruction and education in the art of glass blowing. Students will be given the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of health and safety in the studio, how to manipulate and work molten glass on blowpipes and punty rods, and how to incorporate glass color into their masterpieces. Students will also learn how to use specific glass blowing tools to create their own paperweights, blown drinking glasses, blown vases, and blown bowls.

Great Britain: History and Literature

This Winterim is a historical and literary tour of significant sites in England and Scotland.  Students will participate in an acting workshop at the Globe, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were staged, and then see an evening show in the West End, the modern drama contrasting nicely with its Renaissance ancestor.  We will also visit Bath and Edinburgh, two cities steeped in historical and literary tradition.

Nicaragua: Culture and Ecology

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, but yet one that has been relatively unexplored by tourism. We will explore Nicaragua while spending time working in local communities and learning about the ecology of the area. Stops include Granada, Ometepe, and Maderas.  We will travel to the Pacific Coast to learn about and work on beach conservation and turtle habitats, as well as a chance to learn to surf or boogie board. We will return to Granada for a last chance to revisit the city and explore the artisan markets.

Outrigger Kauai

Paddle traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoes on Kauai, and learn about traditional Hawaiian culture, while visiting cultural sites with members of the club who have shared their cultural heritage with us, and we look forward to similar cultural exchanges. We will re-establish our friendship and immerse ourselves in a multi-cultural experience; then we will have an opportunity to experience this sport and this island from an insider’s perspective. When we’re not paddling outrigger canoes, we’ll be exploring museums and cultural sites in a spectacular area rich with national parks, waterfalls, sea cliffs, island culture and beaches. 

Pittsburgh Green Economy

Explore Pittsburgh’s past, present, and future with an emphasis on how Pittsburgh transformed from an industrial city, to a rust belt city, to a center of medical technology, and a model for urban reclamation. Pittsburgh’s past includes river, architectural and historical tours. Pittsburgh’s present and its future focuses to how one develops an urban green economy, ends urban poverty, increases capacity in growing the local green economy, develops a sustainable green workforce as innovative solutions to meet community needs and for solving urban problems, identifying and facilitating collaborations among regional stakeholders, and researching sustainable green policy and practices. 

RC Dawson Robotics Immersion

Do you enjoy being creative?  Do you enjoy designing solutions to problems?  Do you like robots?  If you would like to gain experience working with robotic systems, sign up for the RC Dawson Robotics Immersion.  We will build robotic bugs called bristlebots, we will work with the Hummingbird robotics platform to design and build several different autonomous robotic displays, and we will also experiment with a basic FIRST Robotics competition robot.  Other opportunities may include basic robotic programming, mechanical grippers, custom part fabrication, and computer-aided design using Sketch Up and Creo Parametric. 

Rocks and Ropes

Climb up rocks and down canyons in this introduction to all aspects of technical climbing and canyoneering. Professional climbing outfitters, will supply all of the gear and instruction you need to climb safely.  In addition to learning climbing techniques and basic safety protocols, you will also learn some advanced rope skills such as rappelling, ascending, hauling, self-rescue, and anchor building. We will be camping.  No previous climbing experience is required. Actual location will be either near Moab, Utah, or northern New Mexico/southern Colorado. 

Soundscapes: Gamelan Edition

Discover the fascinating world of sound-design. This group of “mad sound’entists” collaborates to create a layered sonic collage based on a theme. Using portable recorders, students capture interesting source sounds from around campus and special nearby sites. Some natural and human-made objects make unbelievable sounds when activated by mallets, sticks, violin bows, even an electric drill, and then recorded at a close distance.  Recorded sounds are loaded onto computers to edit, process and mix them into a surround-sound masterpiece.

Costa Rica Spanish Language Immersion

At an ecological retreat nestled high in the tropical mountains overlooking the Pacific Coast, we will sleep in bamboo bungalows, tour an organic farm, relax in hammocks, and hike to secluded waterfalls and swimming holes. We will travel to a village where we will get to know locals and their way of life. We will work on a meaningful service project and also have time to play soccer, practice Spanish, and make friends. We will receive Spanish support and fun mini-lessons. At the end of our stay in the village, we will have a fiesta de despedida, or going away party. 

France: Les Chateaux de La Loire

Journey back into the incredibly rich and fascinating history of France and tour enormous ancient castles, tiptoe through medieval dungeons, travel for miles in an underground rock quarry, discover an evil queen’s poison chamber, and more.  By visiting an array of legendary chateaux and monuments located in central France’s mystical Loire Valley, students will gain an appreciation for the evolution of France as we know it today.  Walk through medieval fortresses from the time of Joan of Arc, admire architectural masterpieces designed and engineered by Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance, wonder at the royal palaces and hunting lodges frequented by Europe’s once most powerful monarchy during the Enlightenment, and stand before the most recognizable monuments in Paris as they learn about the French Revolution.