Head of School Weekly Email: Real World Learning
December 15, 2023
Dear TA Families,
Last week I featured students taking their learning onto the stage, over the airwaves, and into the woods in the ‘student learning spotlights’ section of my weekly email. Today I want to share more examples of TA classes and clubs testing their knowledge and skills in real world settings during the culminating weeks of the semester.
- Students in the Cooking for Health class prepared another dish for the whole school community this week, with ingredients sourced from the TA garden. Lunch at the Panther Cafe on Thursday included pumpkin donuts for dessert, made from our own homegrown squash and locally-milled flour. ICYMI, check out an in-depth story about the collaboration between the culinary and school garden programs this fall.
- Students in the STEM internship program have been taking their learning out into the ‘real world’ daily this fall, spending their afternoons at our corporate partner sites Hypertherm and Fuji Film Dimatix in Lebanon, NH. The student interns explore all realms of the STEM fields, with an emphasis on the manufacturing and engineering industries, and will present on their experience next month.
- A team of students in Design Tech took on a real world client for a recent design-build project: one of their own TA teachers. Culinary Teacher Jennifer Gernhard needed a new baking prep table for her classroom and an experienced group of woodworking students delivered a beautiful handmade product.
- The TA Robotics team competed in their second meet of the year in Plymouth, NH last weekend, with a dozen students from grades 7 through 12 representing the panther team. A big shout out to Aden Perry, Connor Kutter-Walker and Duncan MacPhee for their top rankings in the meet and special commendation of an ‘excellence award’ from the judges. Tomorrow the team heads to Lawrence MA for another meet and we wish them safe travels and a winning day! (Read more about the Plymouth meet.)
- Students in the journalism club published their first issue of the Thetford Academy Times this week. It was great to see print copies of a TA school newspaper around campus. Thanks to the initiative of the students who launched this club last year and brought back a long-dormant tradition.
- The new high school debate team will put their new skills to the test as they head to their second meet of the season, going up against schools around the region. Debate has become a popular club this fall and recently expanded to include a middle school crew as well.
- Students in the TA Climate Alliance (TACA) are mobilizing around climate change issues and taking action to make an impact on their community. Earlier this month some of them participated in a climate leadership academy with youth from throughout VT and NH. Read more about their experience in an article by 9th grader Cynder Malin.
In classes and in their extracurricular pursuits, TA students are taking on the challenge of putting their work, their designs, their passions, and their skills to the test with real world audiences in real world settings. This kind of learning requires taking lots of risks and we applaud them for doing so!
Support TA’s Annual Fund
One of the ways we support learning inside and outside the classroom is through our annual fund. During this holiday season, please consider including TA in your charitable giving – and be sure to share the good work we do with your network of family and friends who might be looking for a way to give back. We welcome all gifts of every amount! For more details and an online donation link, visit the TA website.
Thanks & Happy Friday!
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Featured photos this week provide a glimpse into some of the student experiences outlined above.