Experiential Education

Winterim Blog 2022

Welcome to the 2023 blog for Dawson's Winterim programs! At every age, students get a chance to engage in hands on learning - a deep dive into an area of study, a culture, perhaps enhancing a skill or developing a new passion.
* Posts are added as received, so scroll down to check in on groups of interest.
* Dates are the date posted to the blog, not always the date the activity took place. 
* Some groups send information more frequently than others; keep checking in periodically to see the latest.

Photo Class-5-18

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2nd Grade 4.1.22

Oh, what a fun Winterim it was! We had a great last day learning about Colorado history, participating in community outreach and bouncing in the "Boot Camp" bounce house.  We're so grateful to all of those who contributed to making this Winterim a huge success!

Kindergarten 4.1.22

Today we started the day by walking to the Dawson Arts building and watching a performer who told Colorado history stories and accompanied the stories with music and photos and historic props. Next, we put together care packages to make "Kits for Kids". We wrote and talked about how we have helped people in the past and who these kits will help now.Then we finished our day with time in a bouncy obstacle course and watching a movie. A fun way to finish off a great Winterim week!

Lower School Winterim 4.1.22

Songs and Tales from Colorado Trails, led by Calvin Weatherall, performed for Lower School today! This amazing musician played over ten different instruments while teaching the students about Colorado history.

Kindergarten 3.31.22

Today the kindergarteners joined their 4th grade buddies at the Arvada Arts Center. They made clay animals, painted, played on the dragon playground and finished the day going on a scavenger hunt in the sculpture garden. It was an active and creative day that ended with popsicles on the dawson playground.

1st Grade 3.31.22

First grade went up to Mud Lake in Nederland and we went snowshoeing!   We also played games in the snow, and learned that it can take up to 2 hours for a snowflake to fall to the ground.  We also got to see animal tracks in the snow.  After the snowshoeing fun and a picnic, we stopped by the Carousel of Happiness and rode on the hand carved animal statues.  It was a blast!  

2nd Grade 3.31.22

We spent the day at the Arvada Center learning about various art mediums. Second graders got to craft sculptures out of clay and compose their own version of "The Starry Night" using oil pastels and watercolor.  

3rd Grade 3.31.22

The third grade explored nature today on snowshoes! We learned some snow science and enjoyed a beautiful day outside. 

4th Grade 3.31.22

Winterim day 3 was a success! 4th graders and their kindergarten buddies traveled to the Arvada Center to learn about different art mediums. They painted with motion and depth like Van Gogh and sculpted realistic animals with clay. They finished the day with a scavenger hunt at the center’s sculpture garden and enjoyed popsicles in the warm weather! 

3rd Grade 3.30.22

Third grade explored the inner artist in them yesterday at the Arvada arts center. They painted like Van Gogh and sculpted with clay. Any other great Winterim day! 

4th Grade 3.30.22

4th graders enjoyed snowshoeing today up at Mud Lake in Nederland! They learned about snow science and had a chance to play with their kindergarten buddies in the snow. We finished the day with a ride on The Carousel of Happiness!

Kindergarten 3.30.22

Today the kindergarteners went to the Wild Bear Nature Center in Nederland. We met with a guide who led us on a nature walk near Mud Lake. We also built snow forts and looked for animal tracks. On the way home we stopped at the Carousel of Happiness and had a blast getting a ride on a painted animal.

2nd Grade 3.30.22

2nd Grade spent the day exploring Mud Lake with the Wild Bear Nature Center team leaders.  We learned about the importance of snow, how mountains form and how to identify various animal footprints in snow. 
We also took a trip to the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland, CO. 

1st Grade 3.30.22

First graders went to the Arvada Center today.  We got to spend the day with our 5th grade buddies making sculptures of animals out of clay.  We also used pastels and water paint to recreate Vincent van Gogh's 'The Starry Night' painting.  After all the arts and crafts fun, we had a picnic outside and students got to play on the serpent structure.  

Grades K/2/4 3.30.22

Today grades K, 2, and 4 went snowshoeing at Mud Lake Open Space in Nederland and then visited the Carousel of Happiness in our way back down.  We learned about the water cycle and the importance of local watersheds.

3rd Grade 3.29.22

Yesterday 3rd grade spend the day hiking the Wonderland Lake park in Boulder. We hiked over 2 miles and then played at the playground for a bit.

2nd Grade 3.29.22

2nd grade got to spend the day exploring various trails throughout Chautauqua Park with our very own park rangers. We learned about the ecosystems, plants/animals and what we can do to keep our forests thriving. 

5th Grade 3.29.22

Fifth grade enjoyed our first day of Lower School Winterim, hiking from Red Rocks Trail to Sanitas Valley to Dakota Ridge.  We were delighted that the rain held off until we finished our 3 mile loop and we were able to join the rest of the Lower School students and teachers at Chautauqua Playground for a picnic lunch.  Students spent some time reflecting in their journals about their responsibilities as the oldest members and role models of the Lower School Winterim, and how this week differs from their individual experiences at Keystone Science School during their Winterim week before Spring Break.  

Kindergarten 3.29.22

Today the Kindergarteners split into 2 groups and each group joined a ranger for a nature hike at Chautauqua. We learned about the seasons and looked for signs of spring as we hiked.

4th Grade 3.29.22

Winterim day 1 is in the books! 4th graders hiked Hogback trail in Boulder, had lunch and played at Chautauqua Park, and finished the day with a 4th vs. 3rd grade dodgeball game - even some teachers jumped in to play!

First Grade 3.29.22

First grade went to Chautauqua Park and got to explore the Mesa and McClintock Trails.  We saw all different sorts of birds, bugs and trees. The students got to enjoy hikes guided by rangers.  After our hikes, we went to the park and had a picnic.  Students got to play in the rain before we headed back to Dawson. 

MS Utah Uncovered

Our intrepid middle school backpackers dived deep into the canyons of southern Utah to explore Fish & Owl Canyons of Bears Ears National Monument. Throughout our 6 day adventure, we conquered 20 miles of canyoneering, seeing ancient Pueblo ruins, incredible natural arches, and experiencing a week in a real-life sandcastle! The students demonstrated grit and resilience as well as good humor in making this a memorable trip. Thanks to KMAC (Kent Mountain Adventures) guides Reed and Sam for their enthusiastic leadership!

US Bahamas 3.29.22

After a rocky beginning, the US Bahamas Winterim had an amazing visit to the Island School on Eleuthera.  We learned about marine biology from researchers and local experts, and just by being in and out of the water all day long.  We learned how ooids form in deep water and wash up onto sandbars, how to catch a sea turtle (kick really, really fast!), how to grow both fish and lettuce using the same recycled water, how to spot a stingray, what native Bahamian fruits taste like, what lives in a mangrove swamp ecosystem, how to appreciate endangered coral, and what happens if fishermen feed the sharks every day (hint: they get REALLY big).  The students braved sunburns, no-see-'ems, creaky bikes, very bumpy boat rides, and overnight flights, but never lost their spirit of exploration and fun.  It was a thrilling trip.

US Bahamas 3.29.22 Pt 2

6th Grade Stone Canyon 3.29.22

On our final night at Stone Canyon, the 6th grade gathered around a campfire to sing songs, tell stories, and eat s'mores. Before departing, everyone had the opportunity to try ziplining and archery. Once back at Dawson, we had a sleepover party in the Innovation Center, complete with pizza, line dancing, and a movie. Our trip was full of unexpected turns, but the kids did a wonderful job going with the flow and enjoying the moments as they came.

Upcycled Furniture 3.29.22

Wow - check out the creations dreamed up and built by the Winterim, Building Upcycled Furniture!

California Big Trees 3.18.22

On Thursday morning, we made our way up the windy road towards Sequoia National Park's Giant Forest.  On our way, we observed areas of high intensity burns created by the KNP Complex Fire as well as untouched areas thriving with life.  At the top of Beetle Rock, students spent some time nature journaling before we met up with Miss Katie from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.  Trekking poles in hand, students made their way through a grove of giant sequoias as they learned how these mammoth trees grow from tiny seeds, how they rely on heat from fire to release seeds, and how climate change is affecting them now.  After a picnic in the sun, we put on gloves and wielded "trash picker-uppers" to give back to the parks by picking up trash.  It felt good to put our stewardship in action!  Before heading back down that windy road, we made sure to pay homage to General Sherman, the world's largest tree.  A long day concluded with a fantastic dinner by the river at the Ol' Buckaroo.
Friday morning, we headed out for our last adventure.  Again meeting up with Miss Katie, we walked the Kaweah River, turning our attention to the flora and fauna of lower elevations by the water.  Returning to Hospital Rock, students observed pictographs and reflected on what it may have been like for the Native Americans who survived and thrived in this area.  Back in the van, we made our way to the airport and back to our families.

Thank you, Sequoia Winterim students, for an amazing trip!

Citizen: You 3.18.22

"Citizen: You" students spent their final day diving into African American history and culture. We first visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture. After lunch at Bus Boys and Poets (a “community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted”), we spent time exploring Food Justice at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. 
Community bonding then happened at the Escape Room in Alexandria! 
Two metro buses home, and good sleep!
Friday we ended our experience with a tour of Arlington National Cemetery. We so enjoyed spending the week with our group, and they have earned a much-needed spring break after our full DC experience! 
Citizens- enjoy your break!

Intergenerations Playwriting 3.18.22

Today in the "Intergenerations" Playwriting workshop, our week of writing came to fruition. Professional actors from the Boulder/Denver area arrived today to play improv games with us and give voice to the plays students wrote throughout the week. We finished the week with a brief showing of our works in progress in the form of staged readings!

Bright Lights, Big City 3.18.22

Bright Lights, Big City practiced all day for our performance for family and friends at frequent flyers. Then we headed to Sweet Cow in Louisville for celebratory ice cream. Congrats to all on an awesome job!

Food, Glorious Food 3.18.22

On our final day of Winterim, Food, Glorious Food spent the morning working on the cookbook that the group is producing and watching a video about "healthful eating" produced by the Educated Choices Program. We then journeyed to the Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue (where Noosa yoghurt is produced) for a tour, baby cow petting, tons of free samples, and an exquisite lunch at the farm's Howling Cow Café.

CNC Guitar Making 3.18.22

The guitars are done (mostly)! The students worked on assembling the neck to the guitar bodies along with final soldering, stringing, and intonation today. It was a great week learning together in the Dawson Center for Innovation Makerspace! The nine students each made completely unique guitars and we look forward to displaying them after Spring Break. Be sure to stop by the Innovation Center to check them out in early April.

Get Active 3.18.22

On the final day of ms Winterim 2022, Get Active spent the morning navigating the hall engine courses and obstacles at Ninja Nation! Our instructors at Ninja Nation were featured on recent episodes of the TV show! After working up quite the appetite, we enjoyed an afternoon of pizza and bowling. 

Cooking Around the World 3.18.22

From Luca Adams:
Today was the final day of the cooking winterim. In the morning we made spring rolls, Bangkok Drunken Noodles, Thai chicken coconut curry and Thai corn fritters. We then went to lunch at Teocalli, which is a Mexican restaurant. After that, we cleaned the rest of the kitchen and finalized our cookbook as an end to a great Winterim! 

Sailing the Sound 3.18.22

Heading for home!

Colorado Climbing 3.18.22

A glimpse of the action from our Colorado climbers!

Cooking Around the World 3.17.22

From Luca Adams: In the morning the theme was France and we made crêpes and Croque Monsieur. In the afternoon we 'battled' against the Middle School Winterim, "Food, Glorious Food," in a dessert competition where we made chocolate mousse, Boston creme donuts, and a chocolate cake!

So You Want to Start a Coffeeshop 3.17.22

Imogen, David, Maggie, Declan and Autumn make a run to Walmart to stock up for the signature drink recipes they each created!
  • The Fluffy Duck (Hot Chocolate with extra hot foam and grated lemon zest) 
  • Samocha (Mocha with coconut, caramel, chocolate, and Samoa bits)
  • Joe Mamma's Special (Iced Purple chai handcrafted by experts)
  • Bound 2 Chai (Chai latte with a shot of espresso, with your choice of flavor) 

Yellowstone 3.17.22

Today we learned about winter adaptations and climate change's effect on the Yellowstone environment. We explored snow science by digging snow pits and taking measurements to find the snow water equivalence. We snowshoe hiked around Trout Lake and a close encounter with a Bison, we did have! We witnessed the signs of the changing of the seasons including some warmer weather and sunshine. But, much more exciting was a great view (using scopes and binoculars) of a mama bear and her 2 cubs awakening and starting to stir from their den. They were observed collecting more bedding to slumber for a little while longer yet. We finished the day with a hike to an ungulate graveyard, abundant in pedicles for certain. Any words you don't know there? We didn't know them before this week either!

-with gratitude to Vivi for her help with the writing of today's summary for our group!

Backcountry Skiing 3.17.22

The backcountry skiing group saved the best day for the last day. By all accounts today was about as much fun as one can have sliding on snow. This intrepid group of rock-star students left the yurts after breakfast and proceeded to climb up to 12,300 ft to the top of Putney Peak amid snow showers and 35 mph winds at the summit. The final push, which consisted of a boot pack up the wind scoured rocks, took courage and grit and our guides couldn’t have been more impressed with our determination! The descent from the peak was fantastic. Between the views and powder we were a happy group of skiers, and that was just the beginning. Several more laps and by the end of the day we had climbed (then skied) 3,000 vertical feet of powdery bliss! Back at the yurt the stoke levels remained high as the shared laughs continued. Our night culminated with a beautiful appreciation circle, which was at times heartfelt and occasionally hilarious, but never disingenuous. It has been a magical adventure and one that we won’t ever forget. After a short ski back to the bus tomorrow morning, we will make our way back to school. What an amazing  trip it’s been.

Seattle 3.17.22

Blog post by Finn and Charlie: Another great day in Seattle. To begin, we went to an eatery called Piroshky on Third which served eastern European-inspired pastries. The group then headed over to the Chinatown International District for a tour of the area. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and showed us some of the spots that illustrate the rich culture that define the Asian American experience in Seattle. Still in the International District, we explored the Wing Luke museum which featured an exhibit on Bruce Lee and his years in Seattle. His personal notes, clothing, and movies were all displayed to emphasize his cultural significance in America. Out on the street, we were greeted by the self-proclaimed King of Chinatown who was excited by our towering heights at such a young age. We then took the light rail to Pike Place Market. At the market, we bought tons of food and enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere. Since it was Saint Patrick’s Day, the ginger of our group, Finn, thought it would be appropriate to allow the gallant gentlemen of the fish market to practice their fish tossing tradition over his head, almost resulting in a salmon tail to the forehead. (Click the link to view the harrowing video.
After leaving the market, we quickly returned to the hotel to regroup. Though we'd finished the bulk of our day, we headed back to the International District to explore a few shows after which we went to Uwajimaya Food Hall where we started the trip on Sunday. Here we grubbed on some fantastic General Tso’s chicken, while Dr Carter enjoyed a Japanese taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle creation. He chose the one with Fruity Pebbles and a marshmallow inside and reported to be quite tasty. Overall, today was filled with memorable experiences that will surely stick with us for a while. 
XOXO, Seattle Squad

Bright Lights, Big City 3.17.22

Bright slights Big City spent the day exploring Denver. We toured the Denver Art Museum, took a play writing class workshop, had an amazing Italian dinner, and ended the evening watching the new play “Refuge” at the Curious Theatre. 

Border Narratives: El Paso 3.17.22

The El Paso Winterim had a wonderful last day in the border region. We began with an observation of district court in Las Cruces (no cameras allowed but students are seen walking to court below) and we then got to meet with New Mexico’s only district judge. We then had a fantastic lunch of burritos & tacos before exploring old Mesilla. Students then returned to Peace Lutheran Church for their final migration story share and a homemade dinner of enchiladas. We returned to our lodging and closed the program with story sharing of our own. The group has developed a close connection in just one week and did an incredible job learning and taking in such complex stories and material. Students are excited to return home tomorrow! 

New Orleans 3.17.22

We got up close and personal with some Alligators today during our swamp airboat ride! Some of our adventurous eaters even tried alligator sausage for lunch. Later on we took a cooking class where we made Mahi Almandine, a southern succotash and delicious bread pudding. We will head out soon for a jazz concert at Preservation Hall. Whew…what a day! 

Food, Glorious Food 3.17.22

Today the Food, Glorious Food group had two very different cooking experiences. First, we learned how to make gnocchi, garlic knots, and
Panzanella at Food Lab in Boulder. We then headed back to Dawson to experiment with making a variety of fried foods: chicken fingers, mac and cheese balls, fried Oreos, and beignets.

L.A. College Tours 3.17.22

It was a gorgeous day to visit Whittier College and see some Dawson alumnae, Theresa and Stasi, who gave us the inside scoop!

CNC Guitar Making 3.17.22

Today, the students finished the decoration of their guitar bodies and necks. Each of the nine guitars is completely unique and they look amazing! Tomorrow students will be putting everything together and hopefully by the end of the day we will be tuning them up to play!

MS Bahamas 3.17.22

Wow! What a day!!! It was one for the ages! 
Our first dive was our deepest of the trip. It was called Shark Arena. This is a spot where professionals sometimes do shark feeding for entertainment. We didn't do that. We wanted to see them in their natural states. We descended to around 60 feet to see a few Caribbean Reef sharks, a Nurse shark, an eel, and a big grouper! The kids claim they saw a lionfish but we've already seen those! The real excitement was for the sharks. We saw five five-foot sharks through the 40-minute dive. The boat conversations were all energy as we climbed back aboard. 
We motored over to the Pumpkin Patch dive spot. Our guide gave us a so-so description. We thought it was going to be a rather bland dive. IT WASN'T! From the moment we descended to about 40 feet, we were buzzed by sharks. Big ones and little ones. There was a time when I counted four sharks in our area. In total I think we saw about 12 sharks on that dive.  One of my favorite memories was when Bennett let a Nurse shark cruise right under her fins only to be surprised when another nurse shark followed immediately. It was like she was playing with two little puppies.  The Pumpkin Patch was a huge reef system with tons of fish too. There was a lot of chatter about all sorts of fish when we came back up to the boat. The kids were so happy! They LOVE the sharks. 
Here are some pictures from our awesome day! They may look frightening but the Caribbean Reef sharks are docile and non-aggressive. See if you can figure out who is behind those scuba masks. 

Intergenerations Playwriting 3.17.22

Today in the "Intergenerations" Playwriting workshop, students began the day by playing the improv game "Hotel Clerk." Next, the groups got together to share all of the scenes they wrote for their "fractured fairy tales" and stitched together the separate texts into one continuous script. This is all in preparation for the professional actors coming to do staged readings of their plays tomorrow to wrap up the week!

Get Active 3.17.22

Today Get Active headed to Denver for a private tour of Mile High Stadium! We got to explore the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, professional locker rooms, VIP suites, and ended our time on the Broncos field itself! 
  We all left with some sweet swag... a Broncos scarf! 

El Paso 3.16.22

The El Paso Winterim group had long & informative day. We began the day hearing from Reuben Gonzales, director of Annunciation House, who shared his 45 year history of serving migrants in El Paso. We then drove to the border fence and met with Border Patrol agents. Students were able to ask questions and learn a great deal about daily life on the border, giving them a unique perspective far beyond news headlines. We had a tasty burrito lunch and then drove the Rim Road above El Paso. Students then had a chance to explore Segundo Barrio, a neighborhood next to the Port of Entry. We capped off the day with soup & apple crisp at Holy Cross Retreat Center and a closing journal reflection. 

Colorado Climbing 3.16.22

Our Colorado climbers have been defying gravity all week!  The week began with team bonding and skill building, and students were soon ready to learn the ropes!  Belay School went by quickly, and soon they were taking off!  Students tested their newfound skills and courage on Dawson's challenge course Tuesday and Wednesday morning, before heading to the Spot gym in Louisville.  It's amazing how much they have already learned and improvex as fledgling climbers!
Due to weather conditions, Thursday morning we inspected traditional climbing gear and techniques, and gathered inspiration watching Tommy Caldwell's powerful documentary, "The Dawn Wall."  Then headed once more to the Spot.  With renewed enthusiasm and determination, students spend the latter part of Thursday tapping into their inner kiddo climber!  They are soaring to new heights!

Big Trees California 3.16.22

Day 4
Time to get out of the Bay Area and head back to the hills!  But before we did, we headed down to the surf and sand to put our toes into the water (or very wet shoes as the case may be).  The water was pounding against the rocky shore and foaming up thanks to the incoming tide and the high tide the previous night that left the bay full of water that was now rushing out.  Quite the sight to see!
We headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and walked out to the middle just in time to watch the Evergreen cargo ship Ever Far (not the one that was stuck in the Suez Canal) slowly cruise underneath.  The wind was blowing but no fog or clouds today!  A quick stop at the museum and gift store to buy gifts and souvenirs and then it was off across the Central Valley one more time - destination Three Rivers at the base of the Sequoia National Park.
After settling into our hotel rooms, we got moving again to dinner along the creek and then an evening of star gazing and getting our “celestial maps” organized with the help of fantastic interpreters from the Sequoia National Park Conservancy.

Backcountry Skiing 3.16.22

Day 3 in the Red Mt Pass backcountry was another smashing success. The day started with an outstanding in-yurt lesson from our guides on assembling an expedition team. Following that was a great morning tour and ski with wide smiles all around. The combination of warm temperatures and sun followed by a colder night and overcast day led to crunchy conditions in most areas. The students experienced first hand how snow conditions depend greatly on the aspect and angle of a slope. Following a fun ski, we skinned to a beautiful snowy meadow where we had an amazing lesson on companion avalanche rescue. The students were able to put much of their learning to use with several mock burial scenarios. After returning back to the yurt a small group headed back out for a “bonus lap”. Our guides led us to an amazing north facing pitch in which we found ourselves skiing knee-deep powder right back to the yurts. The night concluded with the students presenting their final projects to their peers. Each group was given a skiing objective and the methodically led the group through the planning process. A great day putting all of our newfound education to use. One more full day left out here in this winter wonderland!

Kauai 3.16.22

After clearing all of the invasive species yesterday, today was planting day in the Limahuli preserve. We planted more than 40 plants across the cleared area to try to improve the habitat. This included planting a memorial tree for Mr Nate Lord, who started our program here in Kauai and sadly passed away in the spring of 2021. One of the Limahuli volunteers braided leis from ti leaves that we each got to leave with the tree to protect it. Then we spent our third afternoon of paddling with the students starting to learn to stern the boats. Even our most experienced paddlers found it hard work! Now we are finishing the day with the Tahiti Nui Luau.

Seattle 3.16.22

Blog post by Eden and Aflie
Today we got out of bed, and right to it. A quick stop by the local Starbucks to get coffee, and then we headed for the ferry to Bainbridge Island. We began at a Japanese memorial site that focused on the history of the Japanese internment camps during WWII. This was an eye opening experience for all of us because it is commonly left out of American history. We read stories about Bainbridge families who had to sell all of their belongings with no belief of them ever retuning home. When we finished this, all 12 of us students went to a local Japanese restaurant for some butt-whoopin' spicy teriyaki chicken. After a scenic ferry ride back to Seattle, we caught the bus to the Seattle Chinese Gardens located at South Seattle College. Here, we were given time to go on our own and explore the garden, and all its serenity and beauty. Once we all reconvened, Dr. Carter explained to us the meaning of yin and yang and how these factors were portrayed throughout the garden, with aspects such as mountains and water, and light and dark. Finally, we made our way over to our dinner at Din Tai Fung for some mouthwatering xiao longbao (soup dumplings). "Oh boy, those were some good dumplings" -Alfie Whitemore. We hopped onto the train and rode back to the hotel, ending the day with about 17,000 steps. 
The Seattle Squad

MS Washington DC 3.16.22

Citizen: You
 Winterim students experienced the depth and width of the cultural and emotional gamut during the past two days of our trip! On Tuesday, we took a virtual tour of the Capitol, engaged in a prep session for our Constitution-focused trip to Philadelphia, had a profound visit to the Holocaust Museum, and finally, saw a show at the Arena Stage ("Catch Me if You Can"... with a visit with two lead actors after the performance!). 
On Wednesday, we took a deep dive into public transportation by taking eight trains to get to and from Philadelphia, where we visited the National Constitution Center and Congress Hall. The Senate and House gathered in Congress Hall before relocating to Washington, and Hamilton and Madison had their famous feud there, as well. So we were in one of the "rooms where it happened"!
Students have been considering their Rights and Responsibilities as citizens of our country and of the world-- and our experiences over the past two days added profound perspectives to those themes.

Boston College Tour 3.16.22

We had another great day! The weather was beautiful. We visited Northeastern and Boston College, and we were able to connect with Dawson alumni who attend both. Elise Freedman, who attends Northeastern, joined us by FaceTime from Spring Break, and Libby Howenstein at BC met us after our tour. We then took the T to the harbor for a dinner cruise complete with sunset views and dancing.

Yellowstone 3.16.22

Yellowstone Wednesday update: we woke up early today for some early morning wildlife watching, and good thing we did! We saw a wolf on a riverbank close to the road who was still working on eating an earlier kill. According to our guide, this was a top tier wolf sighting as they are usually seen through scopes far away, and we could see him clearly with our bare eyes. We spent the day learning about the various wildlife and their roles in Yellowstone National Park. With some further wolf sightings, we followed the Junction Butte wolf pack which we viewed yesterday. We also learned about a method of telemetry which helps researchers follow the wolf packs using signals from tagged wolves. We went snowshoeing and found an elk skeleton with a fully intact skull! After a little more hiking, we walked along the recently frozen Pebble Creek and explored a cave. We learned about identifying trees using a dichotomous key, and the role they play in our ecosystem. Overall, we are becoming more comfortable here in Yellowstone and we are enjoying the beautiful scenery and our time together here!

Washington DC/Judicial System 3.16.22 Pt 2

Today we met with staffers from Rep. Neguse and Sen. Bennet's offices. We also got to see Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus speak. Also a quick picture op in front of the Supreme Court and the White House. 

Food, Glorious Food 3.16.22

Food, Glorious Food! began the morning with a cupcake decorating challenge: which group's pull-apart cake are you most impressed by?
We then had the most amazing lunch at The Melting Pot in Littleton where we learned all about fondue--how to make it, cook with it, and, of course, seriously enjoy it!

Sailing the Sound 3.16.22

A glimpse of our sailors' activities today!

New Orleans 3.16.22

The NOLA winterim had a busy day helping out with the Nola Tree Project. We helped mulch, weed and plant at the New Orleans Botanic Gardens. We followed up with our 3rd Cafe Du Monde stop for beignets and coffee and a stroll through the sculpture garden. Now off to a concert in the park! 

MS Bahamas 3.16.22

We had a wonderful, fantastic, and glorious day today under the waves. We again had the blue sky and turquoise water weather. It was a little more windy, though. That wind made some swells on the way to the dive sites. Our troopers didn’t even bat an eye! They wanted to dive!
Our first dive today was at the Willaurie wreck sites. This was our deepest dive yet. We were down at around 50 feet for 30 minutes or more. The students are really accomplished at equalizing. The depth didn’t even phase them. There were three sunken boats which were awesome. One was a huge water barge that was about 200 feet long. It was awesome to see the kids cruise around the hull. 
Then we motored to a spot beyond One-Tree-Island to a dive site called Elkhorn Garden. It was awesome! There was a ton of life on this shallow dive. Because we stayed at about 20 feet we could stay down for about 55 minutes. We saw another barracuda, another ray, and a pufferfish!!! (We also saw a ton of tangs, angels, sergeant majors, and parrotfish.) From a distance, I thought I saw a tarpon but was told later that it was a grouper. We also worked on our backflips under the water and off the back of the boat. It was an amazing day!
After a great lunch at the Inn we went to the beach for some relaxing hair braiding and snorkeling. We took a crew out to our beach’s mini-reef to see a ton of fish. I bet there were a thousand fish swimming at our feet. So much fun! I saw my first black spine urchin and a big black durgon. 

L.A. College Tours 3.16.22

So many fantastic colleges to visit! UCLA (including a hall that reminded the gang of head of school George Moore), USC, Pepperdine, CalLutheran... And a little off-their-feet time cheering on some USC baseball. Follow @MsHandTeacher on Twitter for regular updates! #LAWint22

CNC Guitar Making 3.16.22

The guitars are looking AMAZING! So much progress and still so much to do. Two days left to complete the guitars including soldering the electronics, finishing the painting of the guitar bodies, attaching the necks, and assembling, stringing, and tuning these musical works of art! 

Bright Lights, Big City 3.16.22

Students in Bright Lights, Big City spent the morning practicing our hip hop routines, then did an improv workshop with local playwright and director, Kelly McCallister. We ended the day at Frequent Flyers perfecting our silks skills and prepping for our performance on Friday.

Get Active 3.16.22

Get Active Day 3 showed no sign of slowing down! In the morning, Ms. Kalman and Ms. Fisher took the group to Top Golf in Thornton, where Ms. Fisher was at the top of the leaderboard by the end of the session! After lunch in the park, we spent the afternoon learning basic techniques and movement of karate at Wado-Kai Longmont.

Intergenerations Playwriting 3.16.22

Today, the two groups have moved forward their initial story ideas for their "fractured fairy tales" in two ways. First, students took turns "directing" one another to create frozen pictures that represented important moments from their stories. Next, the students met in their intergenerational writing groups to separate who was going to write which scenes for their final products and to ensure their plotline matched up without any inconsistencies.

California Big Trees 3.16.22

Day 3: With the typical morning rain and fog all around, we started our hike from Stinson Beach below Mt. Tamalpais on our way to Muir Woods.  The excitement level was high as we descended into the forested ravine and stream that would mark our first foray into journaling and drawing - pencils and journals at the ready, everyone settled into the misty campy morning and got to work.
The hike up to the top was tiring (oh so many stairs) but the lunch time ocean breezes at the very top of the clouds was worth it.  Then it was down again into the Muir Woods and the old trees.  Some students commented that you could just tell that these trees were old … there was a sense of quiet and timelessness within the groves.
As we climbed back out of the grove and up to the top again, the sun finally burned through the cloud deck and views of San Francisco Bay could be had - but the Golden Gate Bridge remained hidden behind fog and the headlands.  We got back to the vehicle feeling exhausted and accomplished having just hiked a little over 10 miles.
We dressed up and celebrated with an excellent seafood meal in San Fransisco proper - crossing the Golden Gate Bridge as the fog was once again rolling across.  It was a late night by the time we returned to the hotel - a full day behind us and another full day ahead of us.  It’s time to leave the city by the bay and head back across to the High Sierra.

So You Want to Start a Coffeeshop 3.16.22

Kanoe & Caitlin learn that in order to make good coffee, you have to learn to taste the differences between bad coffee!

Natalie, Kanoe, & Caitlin prepare for a proper cupping of coffees from around the world, processed in three unique ways.

Washington DC/Judicial System 3.16.22

Good morning from Washington DC!

Backcountry Skiing 3.15.22

Another epic day in the San Juans! After a delicious pancake breakfast, the crew had the calories they needed to climb again today. We made our way up to just below tree line where we dug 4 snow pits each on a different aspect of the mountain. There we investigated the various storm layers within the pits and noted how terrain contour and weather events can cause different types of snowpack even in very close locations. Another arrow in our avalanche-safety quiver. Following our snow pit lesson we made our way back up to the ridge line before a glorious 1k foot descent of untracked snow. The kind of skiing you dream about. From there we transitioned back to our climbing skins and headed back to our yurts at 11,700 ft. Tonight’s cooking group treated us to “perfectly Al dente” fettuccine with a rustic bolognese sauce ;). The evening program consisted of working on the culminating “trip planning” project and some well-earned sauna time. What a day!

Seattle 3.15.22

Day 3 Blog post by Emma and Ella:
Our day started with a train ride to the U district where we got a chill breakfast at the Cafe Solstice and then headed over to the Burke Museum where we saw the most completely preserved t-rex skull. We also saw artifacts that compared similarities of cultures that weren't in contact with each other and how some components of culture have stayed the same for many years. We then got a tour of UW courtesy of Dr.Carter, who spent many years there in graduate school. Lunch was by student choice, and many of us opted for sushi burritos. After a brisk 15 minute walk we were well greeted at the Seattle Go Center, where we learned to play the East Asian strategy game of Go. On our walk to Ivar's Salmon House we stopped at a park where Dr. Carter relented and allowed us to do some pirate calls. We continued to walk to the waterfront of Lake Union where the restaurant is also located. Your faithful blog writers, Emma and Ella rate our food a 8.5/10 for the pasta and salmon and a 9.2/10 for the halibut dish. The bread was a hit all around. Dinner was filled with lots of interesting conversations (iykyk).  Well-fed, we took the train back to our hotel where we are now by the pool.
Signing off from the Seattle Squad *insert your own pirate call here*

Kauai 3.15.22

Today we ventured into the preserve behind the Limahuli Gardens to clear out invasive species from the hillside. Then we paddled for our second afternoon. Our first paddling session yesterday was eventful. We were warned not to lean right, away from the outrigger. We learned the hard way why when we flipped our boat and had to bail it out before continuing our paddle! Everyone in the boat was wet but laughing hard.

El Paso 3.15.22

The El Paso Winterim group had a fantastic first day on the ground. We began the day with a lovely breakfast and morning meeting at Holy Cross Retreat Center. We then drove into Las Cruces, New Mexico where students rolled up their sleeves and made Gorditas with Border Servant’s Corps. We heard a an incredibly moving migration story from Carmen, a migrant from Juarez and students expressed such amazing empathy. We then visited a receiving shelter in a converted hotel run by Save The Children. Since September they have served over 95,000 migrants from all over the world. Students asked thoughtful questions and were impacted by the work being done. We headed back to our lodgings for some downtime before an outdoor pizza dinner and evening reflection. It was a wonderful first day and we’re so impressed with our students’ work! 

New Orleans 3.15.22

We ended our first night in New Orleans on a Jazz river boat on the Mississippi River! On Tuesday, we walked over 24,000 steps in the French quarter. We started off in Congo Square and finished our day on a haunted tour of New Orleans. We are now getting some rest before our community service day tomorrow. 

Yellowstone 3.15.22

This morning we learned about the history of Yellowstone and its rock formations by forming a timeline of geological events. On our morning drive we enjoyed more close-up views of bison, elk, and mule deer. We went on a short hike and started to learn about the beautiful mammoth terraces and the four types of thermal features that exist in Yellowstone: hot springs, geysers, mud pots and steam vents. On a snowshoe hike, we saw more geothermal terraces and learned about the variability in water conditions. We also saw some wolf tracks on our hike, which was exciting! Even better though, was getting to see wild wolves among the bison using a scope from a ridge above! So cool! After lunch, we studied rocks of various types and visited the "Grand Canyon of Yellowstone" - a stunning view of the river from 1000 ft high. We ended the day with a view of a beautiful frozen waterfall. What a gorgeous first day in the park!

5th Keystone Science 3.15.22

We're off to a great start at Keystone Science School.  It's pretty much been non-stop since we got here, with a ton of cross-country ski time and outdoor play.  Today one group went to the continental divide while another went skiing on the Dillon Lake Reservoir.  The kids are having a blast!

Washington DC/Judicial System 3.15.22

Today we met with John Campbell, corporate lobbyist with Ball to talk about his job and the role of lobbyists in the government. It was a great conversation and the kids asked lots of questions. After, we went to Arlington Cemetery before going for an evening walk through the monuments at sunset. A very full day!

Boston College Tour 3.15.22

It was a great Tuesday in Boston! We rode the T, explored Boston
Common, visited Emerson College, and toured Fenway Park.

Food, Glorious Food 3.15.22

After competing in a spirited "Chopped Junior" competition at Dawson on Monday, the MS Food, Glorious Food! Winterim group headed to Food Lab in Boulder to learn how to make empanadas.
We then got to visit Three Leaf Farm in Lafayette (which supplies food for such fantastic Boulder area restaurants as The Huckleberry and The Dushanbe Teahouse), where we helped plant flowers, pick up trash, and shovel some…stuff!

Sailing the Sound 3.15.22

A sailor's life: Taking the sails down, swabbing the deck, doing their chores, and hoisting the sails back up!

Bright Lights, Big City 3.15.22

Bright Lights, Big City continues to refine their aerial and dance skills this week. Today we learned our 2nd hip hop routine and students continued to build their aerial skills.

Cooking Around the World 3.15.22

From Rodas: Today we made foods from Africa. One group made Samosas from east Africa and others made some soups. It was amazing to taste the different types of food/seasoning across Africa. We also went to a Japanese restaurant, Japango, which was really nice and many of the kids got to taste different kinds of sushi and step out of their comfort zone. 

6th Stone Canyon 3.15.22 Pt 2

The 6th graders are pushing themselves to take risks today as they climb on this challenging High Ropes Course.  Many fears of heights have been broken!

CNC Guitar Making 3.15.22

The guitars are coming to life! Students made huge leaps forward in their progress today. We began CNC milling the students' guitars out of their stocks. Custom finishing included hand contouring, epoxy pouring, and laser engraving details into the guitar bodies and necks. We are so excited to see how these guitars come together in the final days of Winterim!

Intergenerations Playwriting 3.15.22

Today, students began the day with improv activities to warm up our brains and bodies before meeting up in cross-generational partnerships. In these small groups that mix senior citizens with Dawson middle schoolers, students will take a well-known fairy tale and "fracture" it by adapting it to a different time or place, or changing important plot events. Today, the multi-age groups discussed and outlined their fractured fairy tales, with both groups doing mash-ups of well known stories. One group is tackling Three Little Pigs meets Little Red Riding Hood, while the other is combining Little Red with Hansel and Gretel!

Yellowstone 3.14.22

After smooth travels to Bozeman, Montana, we connected with our Yellowstone Forever program hosts. We enjoyed a beautiful drive to our cabins near the town Gardiner. Along the way, we spotted several first glances of Yellowstone wildlife including elk, bison, and big horn sheep! To top it off, check out the amazing view of Yellowstone from our cabins! After the tiring day of traveling, we had our first cabin-cooked meal, some downtime including competitive card games, and some journal and prep time for our upcoming study of the geology of Yellowstone. 

6th Stone Canyon 3.15.22

Day 2 has begun! We made it through our first night! There were some worries and tears, but I'm pretty sure everyone got at least a few hours' sleep. We are proud of the kids for pushing their boundaries and sleeping in a new environment, without their usual comforts. It has been so fun to see them laughing and playing together.
Yesterday they had classes about orienteering, animal survival, renewable/nonrenewable energy sources, and engineering. We also took a night hike and talked about the 5 senses in the dark. Today the kids will all have the opportunity to try the high ropes course. It is "challenge by choice," and I am eager to see how they navigate the experience!

So You Want to Start a Coffeeshop

Declan, Eduardo, Caitlin, Kanoe, and Autumn show off their Stok product before a guided tasting of the different varieties by guest speaker Amanda, a Stok company representative. 


Big Trees California 3.15.22

Day 2: We left Fresno early and headed across the wide Central Valley of California.  The nut orchards and vineyards were a surprise for many of the students, providing us with a chance to have short conversations regarding water shortages and the “bread basket of the nation” moniker given to the area.
Our first sight of the Bay Area was afforded as we decided into Oakland on a partly cloudy but beautiful day.  No time to stop though as we headed back over the headlands and descended to the the quaint town of Point Reyes Station for lunch and a break.  Grabbing our sandwiches we finished our drive out to Point Reyes light house and the stunning coastline.  With the surf pounding the rocks on one side and the relative calm of the estuary on the other, students strolled across the bluffs with expansive views all around.  It wasn’t long before they turned their eyes to the beaches far below and the “driftwood” littering the beach - though that “driftwood” was actually a collection of harbor seals, elephant seals, and sea lions sunning themselves on the protected cove sands.  Far to the west, we could see the quintessential fogs rolling into San Francisco Bay across the Marin Headlands that we would hike tomorrow.
Dinner was a an excellent Italian meal in the town of Mill Valley - time to load up on food for the hike tomorrow!

Get Active 3.15.22

On Day 2, Get Active had another eventful day of non-traditional sports! In the morning we learned how to hang from fabrics and perform aerial skills at Frequent Flyer Aerial Dance in Boulder. In the afternoon, we learned how to shoot bow and arrows at High Altitude Archery in Longmont.

Cooking Around the World 3.14.22

From Luca Adams: Today we made east Asian food! First, we went to the pacific ocean market to pick up our ingredients. We then made many different kinds of food from gyoza to spring rolls!

5th Keystone Science 3.14.22

We had a smooth trip up to Keystone Science School yesterday. The kids dove right into activities, starting with getting fitted with cross-country skis and boots, then putting them to use on the Keystone campus and adjoining XC ski trails. After dinner we took part in some creative team activities, creating cures for bed head (Have you tried the ‘Glovinator’?) and other inventions from objects each student brought to the activity. 
It was a reasonably quiet night 🤨, and we’ve woken up to a sunny Tuesday morning!

Colorado Photography 3.14.22

Colorado Photography crew went out and explored the Paint Mines in El Paso County yesterday. Everyone got awesome photos of this otherworldly landscape. 

Seattle 3.14.22

Day 2: We started our morning with a cafe breakfast filled with professional culture. After returning to our rooms to wake up the remaining few, we went to MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture) and discovered how tall Jack Sparrow was. MoPop featured music, indie games, and Daleks for all the Dr. Who fans.

On our bus ride back we met the wonderful Mr. Frye who regaled us with stories about the parking garage that shared his name. Once off the bus, we went to lunch at Kao Kao where Charlie attempted to finish a near-infinite serving of pasta. He fought admirably but was defeated by the low mein.
From Evie and Bennett: Then we partook in an afternoon tea tasting where we tried a number of luxurious Chinese teas. And for those of us taking Mandarin tried out our language skills with the owner. After a quick break at the hotel, we went back out to go on the Seattle Underground Tour which told of the efforts of many of Seattle's early “Seamstresses” and failings of its original sewer system.

For dinner, we went to get Chinese hot pot. It was incredible! (And we are so proud of Ella staying stain-free). After our meal and an exciting trip down the escalator, we spotted a familiar face. Low and behold, there was Frye sitting in front of the light rail station—truly a one-of-a-kind moment.

Signing off for the Seattle Squad, XOXO
P.s. We love you Frye <3

El Paso 3.14.22

The El Paso Winterim landed safely after a smooth flight. We met up with our World Leadership School instructor and did introductions. From there we headed to local restaurant for a fantastic dinner. We then drove to the Holy Cross Retreat Center in Las Cruces, settled into our rooms and got a good nights rest. We’re looking forward to a great day ahead!

Backcountry Skiing 3.14.22

It was a spectacular day in the San Juan Mountains for the backcountry ski group! After meeting up with our guides and getting our gear, we left Ouray and headed up to the top of beautiful Red Mountain Pass. We said goodbye to the Dawson bus and hit the trail. The students quickly learned how to ski tour as we skinned our way up to the yurts. After settling into our new home for the next 4 nights, we headed out for an afternoon ski and we are so glad we did. Under a bluebird sky, we climbed our way to the top of the ridge line east of the yurts and we’re treated to the views of a lifetime. The ski down was nothing short of incredible with shin-deep fluffiness and hoots and hollers all around. The delicious dinner was well-earned and we will all sleep well tonight. Let’s do it again tomorrow!

Kauai 3.14.22

We arrived safely in Kauai and have been keeping the students busy! We visited the Kapa’a First Hawaiian Church on Sunday to learn a bit more about this cultural organization. It was the first Christian church on the island and has been important to the preservation of the Hawaiian language. Then the students had some time at Kalapaki Beach to interview locals and play in the waves. Today we made our way to Limahuli Gardens where we were introduced to the plants, history, and stories of the Haena area. Our guide on this day was Devin Forrest, long time friend of Dawson and head of the local hula school. We are lucky that he took the time to walk with us, share his personal stories, and share some of the knowledge passed down in the oral tradition of his family.

Boston College Tour 3.14.22

Taking Boston by storm! This college group is loving this town!

MS Washington DC 3.14.22

Citizen: You DC Winterim travelers had a full (25K+ steps, and over 8 miles of walking...) first day! We started with student-led tours of the Jefferson, FDR, and MLK Memorials. Students then reflected on their rights and responsibilities as citizens- both of our country and this world. 
After lunch on the DC waterfront, we headed to the Mall and visited the National Art Gallery, the American Museum of Natural History (the Hope diamond was a bit hit!), and the National Museum of American History.
We navigated the historic roads (and one historic staircase...) in Georgetown to catch dinner and some amazing Georgetown cupcakes. 
The evening was rounded out by more student-led tours of the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. There were some inspiring and caring-for-each-other moments that happened this evening. We were proud of our group!

MS Bahamas 3.14.22

Good afternoon from overcast Nassau, Bahamas! Today’s sky may be gray above, under the water it is electric! We were up early today. Our bus took us on a scenic tour of the west side of the island. We saw where Sean Connery‘s estate is. The kids didn’t know him. 
When we got to the dive docks, we were very efficient. We loaded our equipment onto the trusty Zambezi and set out to sea. If you are following us on the map, we dove at David Tucker wreck site and the James Bond site today. The water clarity was amazing. The color was that perfect blue. 
The David Tucker site was awesome! There was a sunken military boat and a cliff wall. There were lots of fish! We even saw our first shark! It was a medium sized Caribbean reef shark. It was about 4 feet long. It stayed with us for about five seconds. Then it swam away. Very cool! The students loved it!
The James Bond wreck was also fantastic! We saw the sunken airplane from the Never Say Never again movie. It’s framework was still visible. We saw another wreck that had a torpedo hole in it. It was incredible! The students swam all over that wreck. We saw a barracuda! That was my first barracuda! I was so happy! 
The students are doing very, very well! All of them are getting more and more comfortable underwater. They know the drill here at the Inn. They are eating well. They are sleeping well. And they can’t wait for more dives! They are motivated!!!

More MS Bahamas 3.14.22

Glassblowing 3.14.22

First day of glassblowing. Students worked on glass paper weights and learned how to use many of the new tools. We begin blowing glass on Tuesday and will start with tall drinking glasses. 

Start a Coffeeshop 3.14.22

Vernon, Natalie, Caitlin, David, Kanoe, and Eduardo perform their targeted marketing advertisement for "James" their target consumer.

Bright Lights, Big City 3.14.22

Bright Lights, Big City was back at it at the dance studio and aerial studio today working on their partnering skills. 

New Orleans 3.14.22

The New Orleans Winterim is underway on Bourbon Street! We have walked through the city and just left the historic Voodoo Museum. We are now headed to a riverboat jazz cruise on the Mississippi River!

Get Active 3.14.22

Today Get Active MS Winterim went rock climbing at Boulder Rock Club with Ms. Kalman and Mr. Jacobsma!

CNC Guitar Making 3.14.22

The students' guitars are coming together nicely! We are so excited to see how they turn out over the course of the week! Today, everyone learned to create toolpaths for milling their guitars on the CNC machine. Students are also working to customize their stock before the milling begins tomorrow!

L.A. College Tours 3.14.22

The L.A. college group visited USC today, including their famous Trojan, and The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Courtyard.

6th Stone Canyon 3.14.22

6th grade has arrived at Stone Canyon and is learning the ropes. We had a delicious lunch, and kids are now engaged in their first round of activities.

Sailing the Sound 3.14.22

The group has gotten on board this gorgeous sailboat! Close quarters, but excited. Cozy dinner in the bunk room.

And a wonderful side story: The kids got amazing compliments from the staff on the plane, the hotel, and the restaurant - and, at breakfast, some anonymous person hosted the group with $150 for breakfast "to the future people who would be saving our world"!

California Big Trees 3.13.22

Had a great travel day with a smooth a beautiful flight over the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada.  Students were eagerly looking out the windows and amazed at how many mountains there were between Colorado and California - one student commented “Wow it’s not all a desert out there.”  The clear flight allowed us to see all the major I70 ski resorts on our way out and spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada national parks as we crossed the ranges.
Arriving in Fresno was, not surprisingly, a breeze and we walked over to the hotel to get ourselves situated.  We surprised the students with the chance to go see a movie with our down time which they eagerly jumped on.  Evening meeting covered what to expect tomorrow as we begin the drive over to San Francisco and dip our toes into the Pacific along the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Seattle 3.13.22

Post by Julie Bozzay and Ian McLeod: 2:08 pm arrival in Seattle Washington!
After exiting the airport, we enjoyed a scenic train ride, on which we enjoyed viewing various exciting city activities and artwork. The moment we stepped off of the light rail in the Pioneer Square area we were greeted enthusiastically by the local homeless population. After navigating to our hotel, the group decided to have a heart-to-heart while our rooms were being prepared. We then headed for the Chief Sealth bust where Dr. Carter then educated us about the origins of Seattle and the natives that originally inhabited this area, the Duwamish tribe.
Then we started our favorite event of the day: we spent a few hours in the Uwajimaya market and food hall, and ate delicious food. We were sent on a treasure hunt that led us through the cultural differences present in the marketplace. There was a surprising selection of eggplants! Our search for the strangest turned up a hair lightening product in disturbing packaging and candy toilets which, according to the packaging, "contain no fruit juice." (Both are pictured in the accompanying photos.) We then took the light rail home, had some quality pool time and (once again) enjoyed the company of the locals. Overall a fun, eventful start to our trip!
Seattle Squad, signing off :D

Backcountry Skiing 3.13.22

The backcountry ski group had a smooth trip to beautiful Ouray, “The Switzerland of America”! We spent the day acclimating before we head to our high-altitude home in the woods tomorrow. A dip in the healing waters of the Ouray Hot Springs was just what the doctor ordered and the dinner that followed was a treat. Up & at ‘em early tomorrow!

MS Washington DC 3.13.22

Our travelers arrived safely in DC this evening! After checking into our hotel we enjoyed some fine Arlington dining at Chipotle and Cava, and then the crew met to put finishing touches on their tour presentations for tomorrow. Students will be guiding the group as we visit memorials, monuments, and sites around DC on Monday.

Boston College Tour 3.13.22

The Boston College Winterim arrived this afternoon in Boston. After getting to our hotel, we enjoyed walking around in the sunshine on Newberry Street, exploring the shops. Tonight we are having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and we look forward to our first tour tomorrow morning at Boston University!

Sailing the Sound 3.13.22

All aboard! Heading to Seattle to sail!

Utah Backpacking 3.13.22

Hello from the 7-8 Utah Backpacking trip! The group loaded up the van bright and early on campus Sunday morning. They will spend their day driving west towards Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. They’ll arrive at their trail head, set up camp, and prepare for the week backpacking! The next time you’ll hear from them will be Friday when they get back to campus, ready for showers! 

MS Bahamas 3.12.22

Good afternoon from sunny Nassau, Bahamas! We traveled here through the night. We arrived to an 85° day! We moved into our rooms after a great lunch and then got to our activities. We snorkeled for about three hours from the white, sandy beach of our hotel. We saw starfish, angelfish, rays, and some beautiful wrasse. It was amazing! After dinner, we had our pre-dive conference with our dive master. While each of the students is tired, we are ready for tomorrow morning’s dive on Holiday Bowl! 

CNC Guitar Making 3.11.22

On Friday, the CNC Guitar Winterim group took a field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to visit the GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World exhibit. The students enjoyed learning about the history of the guitar and got to see lots of examples of both acoustic and electric guitars. In the afternoon, we returned to campus to continue working on our guitar designs.

Judicial System 3.11.22

Day 3, our group was able to visit the State Court of Appeals with Judge Craig Welling. 

We also had a nice Facebook message from the University of Colorado Police Department: "We really enjoyed hosting Dawson School students this week at our training center. What an inquisitive group of high schoolers! We had excellent conversations about how police fit into the criminal justice system, working with Boulder DA's Office, 20th Judicial District - DA Michael Dougherty and others to accomplish our mission to keep the community safe. Thanks for visiting!"

Backcountry Skiing 3.11.22

How does snow form in the sky, how does it change when on the ground, and what types of snow layers have a greater chance of avalanching? All questions that the backcountry ski group explored today! Using “avalanche boards” the students experimented with slope angle and snow variation (flour, cornmeal, and sugar) to gain a better understanding of avalanche predictability. In the afternoon we began learning how to use avalanche beacons. Thanks to loaner beacons from Boulder-based Backcountry Access, the students were given mock search scenarios and put their newly acquired knowledge to the test. Next stop, Ouray, CO and then on to Red Mt Pass!

Kauai 3.11.22

On day 2 of our program we had a field excursion to the Fiske Planetarium at CU Boulder where we learned about Polynesian celestial navigation. We even got to play an interactive game about “wayfinding” where every group member had a specific role with different knowledge that helped the group succeed. Then we practiced our interviewing and observation skills on Pearl Street to find out about the culture of Boulder. Day 3 started with sharing our findings from that research. Then we engaged in some team building with an “invisible maze” and a viewing of the film The Haumana about hula. We finished with final details for the trip and we are ready to fly out tomorrow!

Yellowstone 3.11.22

Today we ventured to Rocky Mountain National Park and learned about snow science. We hiked in FREEZING weather - with the wind chill, it was -10! - and dug snow pits in order to learn more about the importance of snowpacks, especially here in Colorado.

Bright Lights, Big City 3.11.22

The Bright Lights, Big city winterim had an active day doing hip hop at Streetside Dance Studios in the morning and then learning how to climb silks in the afternoon at Frequent Flyers. 

Cooking Around the World 3.11.22

From Kate Weibel: Today we started off cooking the food of South America. For the appetizer, we made empanadas. For the two entrees, we made steak with chimichurri and arepas. For dessert, we made brigadeiro, a Brazilian chocolate cake. Stay tuned for the rest!

From Eliza Lennox: Today was a really fun afternoon! This afternoon, all the food that was created was European themed! There were mini pizzas, gnocchi, macarons and an amazing lasagna. Lots of laughter and teamwork :) 

New Orleans 3.11.22

The New Orleans winterim group spent Friday exploring Five Points in Denver. We learned about the history of Jazz in Denver and stopped off for lunch at Randall’s, a NOLA chef who has made Five Points his home for the past 20+ years. 

Backcountry Skiing 3.10.22

After learning topographic map reading skills, the backcountry skiing group had a beautiful morning hike on the South Mesa trail, dialing in our layers for the upcoming trip. Our afternoon was spent learning about trip planning and setting the group contract. We’re getting excited now!

CNC Guitar Making 3.10.22

Today the CNC Guitar Winterim students made progress preparing their stock to be milled. In the afternoon, students started to design the features of their guitars using Fusion 360 which they will use to output their design to the CNC router. There are a wide variety of designs in progress and we can't wait to see how they turn out!

Bright Lights, Big City 3.10.22

The Bright Lights Big City Winterim spent the day at the Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities learning about music, acting, and art. Students went on a guided gallery tour of the current exhibition, made cubist style masks, learned the basics of African drumming, and practiced their stage combat and sword fighting skills. We ended the day with dinner in Old Town. 

Judicial System 3.10.22

On Day 1, we met via Zoom with alum Byron Thomson, now a clerk for the federal district court of Maryland. Day 2 students had an in-depth tour of the Capitol, including meeting with Judges Jaci Brown, Neeti Pawar, Craig Welling, and Ted Tow. We were witness to some of the record breaking debate in a State House of Representatives committee that ended up lasting through the night!

Seattle 3.10.22

Building on yesterday's work to develop a more nuanced understanding of culture, today we explored concepts of cultural appropriation and authenticity. The students also made Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) and soy sauce eggs. Emma showed particular mastery of a variety of wrapping techniques, whereas Charlie was so distraught at his own mutated creations that he threatened to drink the soy sauce marinade for the eggs. Fortunately, his classmates intervened.

Exploring Border Narratives 3.10.22

Exploring Border Narratives: El Paso
We had a fantastic day at CU Law School. Students attended a legal aid clinic class with Professor Violeta Chapin. They interacted with second and third year law students and investigated the history and current status of the DACA program. They were full of poignant questions and thoughtful ideas! We then spent some time exploring the CU Law campus and wrapped up with a well-deserved ice cream. Our students are learning so much as they prepare for their trip to border next week.

College Tours 3.10.22

The L.A. and Boston College Tour groups are starting this week looking at some of our wonderful nearby schools. Here we are visiting University of Colorado-Boulder’s campus on a chilly but beautiful morning, and talking with the team at Naropa University.

Yellowstone 3.10.22

Today we went to Divide in order to go to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. We learned about the history of wolves in the US and how they were hunted to near extinction. We learned about reintroduction and conservation efforts, and discussed the potential effects of Colorado’s new law about the reintroduction of gray wolves. Before we left, we all howled our best, and the wolves joined in!

Cooking Around the World 3.10.22

We started off today by going to King Soopers to shop for our ingredients! After that we all split into groups and started to make our yummy creations :) Stay tuned for results!! 

(later that day...) And the results are in!
Tristan, Willy, and Audrey made poutine.
Luca, Linda, and Maddie made burritos.
Aayush, Rodas, and Piper made fried chicken, 2 dipping sauces, fries, and coleslaw.
Kate, Lucas, and Eliza made Cinnamon Toast Crunch donuts.
A great day exploring the foods of North America!

Start a Coffeeshop 3.9.22

Imogen,David, Autumn, and Declan show off their new coffeeshop logos, which they created by hand or on Adobe illustrator and laser etched onto their own travel mugs!

Backcountry Skiing 3.9.22

The Backcountry Skiing Winterim is off to a great start! The students began the day braving the wintry weather while completing the “group ski” team-building challenge. We thawed out in the classroom, beginning our Avalanche safety awareness education. The day was rounded out with a zoom call with opensnow.com founder and head meteorologist, Joel Gratz. So much awesome learning and it’s only day 1! 

CNC Guitar Making 3.9.22

The CNC Guitar Making Winterim got off to a great start today with all of the students collaborating on designing their guitars and coming up with a wide variety of plans for how they will look. After the students finished their plans, they selected their pieces of wood and glued them up to create the stock that they will mill on the CNC router later in Winterim.

Kauai 3.9.22

We started to prepare for our trip to Kauai by learning some introductory information about our topics of study. The day started by setting our focus on team building and then we launched into looking at the types of plants we will be working with at the Limahuli Gardens (native plants, canoe plants, and invasive species). We finished with an introduction to ethnographic research and preparation for collecting data on a field trip to Boulder tomorrow. It was a great day with high energy!

Exploring Border Narratives 3.9.22

Our Winterim group had a fantastic first day full of thoughtful discussions, exploring narratives, and diving into the complexity of immigration. Students explored demographic data of El Paso, investigated firsthand accounts of migrants on several continents, and watched a documentary film followed by presentations and discussions on the film's themes. We also collectively established group norms to follow and re-visit during our time in El Paso. Tomorrow we head to CU Law school to sit in on a legal defense clinic with students. 

Yellowstone 3.9.22

Our summary: This morning, we learned about the importance of Leave No Trace and learned the seven key principles (and the hand motions that go along with them!). We then drove to Rocky Mountain National Arsenal, where we went on a short hike and drove along a wildlife drive, where we saw a hawk, deer, and herds of bison! We were a couple hundred feet away from the last herd that we saw. Did you know that bison can jump FIVE feet?

Bright Lights, Big City 3.9.22

The Bright Lights Big City Winterim spent the day in Denver. We saw the world premiere production of Rattlesnake Kate and then did a workshop at the Denver Center for Performing Arts focusing on performing new works of historical fiction. 

Students wrote and performed short short rap songs about famous women from Colorado. 

Cooking Around the World 3.9.22

The group got off to a good start today at Sherpa's in Boulder!

College Tours 3.9.22

The college Winterim groups combined and enjoyed exploring Colorado College for our first tour - including catching a few minutes of a women's lacrosse game. Among other highlights, we met up with Scarlett Reavey '19, Liam Keeley '20 and Olivia Spencer '21, who shared valuable reflections of their transition from Dawson to life at CC.