Minimester 2018 Makes Big Impact

Every year, the typical schedule here gets turned upside for a week to allow for a time of special exploration and discovery. Minimester allows the students to explore topics outside the classroom in a unique way, and also gives the faculty an opportunity to share their diverse interests. Last week, Minimester 2018 brought a fantastic offering of special courses for the high school students to choose from, including Civil Rights History Tour, Philosophy of the Twilight Zone, Rocket Science for Non-Rocket Scientists, The Magic of Physics, NASCAR, Marine Biology, History of US Fashion, and Middle Earth and Beyond, just to name a few.

While most trips stay in the local area, a few each year take the students to special destinations to immerse in the experience in a different way. For Megan Koon‘s group of twenty students, The Magic of Physics took them behind the scenes at Walt Disney World. They participated in two programs, Energy and Waves, which took them behind the scenes of the Haunted Mansion to learn about Pepper’s Ghost Effect, and Properties of Motion, in which the students rode Space Mountain with the lights on and then off to learn about the effect of light and sound on perspective. During that program, they also rode Big Thunder Mountain to discuss centripetal force.

Another exceptional trip out of town this year was led by Jennie Neighbors and Meby Carr, taking ten students to Alabama for a Civil Rights History Tour. The group traveled to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, visiting the the Equal Justice Initiative, 16th Street Baptist Church (bombed by the KKK in 1963), Rosa Parks Museum, Southern Poverty Law Center Memorial, the Alabama State House, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor from 1954 to 1960), and more. So many unexpected and powerful moments came out of the trip, such as our students meeting a man who marched from Selma to Montgomery with Dr. King.  While at Dexter Avenue, students had the opportunity to hear from tour guides and to read passages from Dr. King’s addresses from behind his podium, truly bringing the experience to life!