A Taste of Chicago Colleges
This full day interim program open to sophomores and juniors will introduce students to six distinctive colleges and universities in the greater Chicagoland area. Using public transportation, we will depart from Beacon each morning to explore a different college or university in our region. We will spend time on each campus, taking an official admissions tour and sitting in on an information session, but also taking advantage of the opportunity to explore on our own by sitting in on a class, wandering the campus, and (as the title implies) eating lunch at each college. We will visit colleges of different types, including The University of Chicago (a private midsized urban research university), the University of Illinois at Chicago (a large public urban research university), DePaul University (a large Catholic urban university), Loyola University Chicago (a midsized urban Catholic university), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (a small urban private college for art and design), Columbia College Chicago (a midsized urban private college for creative fields), and Elmhurst College (a small private suburban liberal arts college with a heavy emphasis on social justice). This Interim will require a lot of walking and comfort with public transportation systems. Students might wish to bring petty cash for transportation costs, snacks, and bookstore swag.
Exploring the Worlds of D&D
In this course we will explore Dungeons & Dragons from a wide variety of angles based on student interest. There are many possible paths, and I’ll list just a few options we may consider. We might learn how to be an effective Dungeon Master (DM), both in assembling a campaign and in running the game session, and players can practice running short encounters and assemble materials for a future campaign. We might explore the materials of Fifth Edition, especially some of the brand new supplemental volumes adding new character types, monsters, locations, and lore. We might run a variety of scenarios to sharpen our roleplaying abilities to maximize effective strategy and group fun. We might discuss how the game has evolved, including important changes, additions, and controversies. We might deep dive into particular aspects of lore and background information — some students may want to learn more about, for example, a famous city, a certain group of monsters, or the religious practices of Orcs.
Exploring British Culture
For this interim we will explore different aspects of British culture, including dialect, history, media and of course food. We will also discuss some of the differences between American and British culture. The interim will also include visits to different restaurants to try out some proper British food. From Downton Abbey to having a cheeky Nando’s, come along and find out what puts the great in Great Britain – it will be brilliant!
Passion to Action
This class will focus on community service and outreach. Each day we will engage with members of the Evanston community, learn more about non-profit organizations, and do community outreach and service projects. We will also have the opportunity to partner with students from other Evanston schools (ETHS and Roycemore) for activities during Youth Leadership Day on Friday, March 3. This class is a great way for students to get involved in service projects in our larger school community!
Percussion Ensemble with the Old Town School
In this program, students learn and share the rhythms of West Africa with an experiential, community-building process. Through hands-on instruction, collaborative discussion, reflection and experimentation, students grow in their musical knowledge and use creative thinking and decision making skills to form their own unique performance ensemble. Drums and percussion instruments include djembe, dunun, agogo bell, clave, shekere and more.
Iron Chef…Beacon Style
Twelve students max. Four teams go up against each other to shop, create, and present a culinary experience based on a different theme each day. This is a morning interim class; dishes will be presented at lunch time. Celebrity” judges will comment and choose a winner.
A Course About Nothing: How Seinfeld Shaped Modern Comedy
It is a scientifically proven fact that Seinfeld remains the most relevant, culturally impactful sitcom in the history of television. A mainstay of NBC’s primetime lineup from 1989-1998, the series follows Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, a gang of single, thirty-something New Yorkers, as they banter over the “excruciating minutiae” of their remarkably mundane existences.
Doing Something and Learning while Drinking Coffee
This interim is designed by the students who attended the FIRE conference at Lake Forest Academy and wanted to keep thinking about what they learned there — while doing something with what they learned. Students are all interested in different issues (human rights, the environment, women’s rights, poverty, mental health, racial justice, to name only a few) but are all invested in creating an interim that allows them to learn more about the things they and other students care about.
Our Food Choices
This interim will take a look at how our food choices not only impact our bodies and health but the environment. As consumers, we have a lot of choices when it comes to what we eat but often limited information and knowledge. During this interim you will learn more about food from farming techniques to what a genetically modified crop is. We will discuss controversial topics in the food industry such as Food Labeling, Food Fraud, Animal Treatment and how much the government should regulate.
Students will have the option to work on a variety of tech project including disassembling and building a desktop computer, configuring a Raspberry Pi computer with the Linux OS, experimenting with the Electric IMP module for data acquisition and cloud based reporting, using our 3D Printer, testing and analyzing an actual 80-watt solar panel, starting an online Python course, creating a whiteboard animation, and perhaps a field trip or two.
During this half-day interim, students will learn about the sport of triathlon as well as prepare to complete a mini indoor triathlon at the YMCA on Friday. Participants will need to be willing to swim, bike and run/walk (at least 2 out of 3 disciplines each day). Students will set individual goals, so all speeds are welcome, so long as the student has a good attitude about participating! There will also be time for discussion, a movie about triathlon, and/or a guest speakers each day. The mini triathlon at the end of the week will consist of a 10-minute swim, 30 minutes on a spin bike and a 20-minute run/walk.
African Cultural Immersion
In this course we will explore African cultures through film, literature, food, and performance. In particular we will explore the cultures of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, and (perhaps) Algeria. This will be a very engaging and interactive interim – and you will learn a lot about this majestic and diverse continent!
Spend a week making art! The art studio will be opened for you to concentrate on one art form or explore and experiment in processes that you have been meaning to try. Painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking are some of the mediums that you can work in. Try our new printing press! I will provide demos on several printmaking processes if there is interest.
Beacon 2016-17 Yearbook
Be a pivotal part of designing, laying out, and creating the Beacon Academy 2016-17 yearbook! Interested in writing? This is for you. Interested in design? This is for you. Interested in photography? This is for you. Interested in creating a piece of Beacon history? This is for you!
Stage Combat with R&D Choreography (Piven Theatre)
Students work with highly sought-after Chicago theatre professionals to learn the basics of stage combat in a fun, challenging, and safe environment. R&D Choreography was founded in 1997 by David Bareford and Richard Gilbert for the purpose of improving the power and effectiveness of Chicago area theatre through the art of violence design. R&D has designed violence for over three hundred productions, taught stage combat at universities, colleges, and workshops, and performed in traditional theatre, live stunt shows, and film. R&D has designed violence for dozens of Chicago area theatres.
The Laramie Project Rehearsal
The Beacon cast and will rehearse for their upcoming performances of Moisés Kaufman’s play.
This interim class is required for all cast members in the play.
Do you want to dedicate a week to guitar? Now is your chance! As long as you have fingers and are interested in making music, you are a good candidate for this session. During our afternoons together the goal is to learn a few songs and acquire new skills. “Do I need experience,” you ask? Nope. Many guitar players are self-taught. They started by finding a tune they enjoyed and they figured out the chords. This is what we will be doing together. Short lessons will be offered for those that need the basics and then – we play! For those with experience, this is a time to stretch yourself, learn new chords, new songs, and enjoy playing with others. The days will consist of music making, breaks with food and music listening, and an outing where we play in a found spot outside of school. If you do not have a guitar, we will provide you with one. Rest assured, there will be no final performance. The point is to make music, learn skills that you can carry on when interim is over (and look super cool with a guitar of course).
Becoming Global Citizens
In this interim, students will tackle some of the biggest issues facing our global society: Education for all, peacekeeping and conflict resolution, and how to approach the fight against poverty. We may also investigate how to address climate change and water safety/pollution. We need students who are interested not only in brainstorming, but also gathering data, conducting interviews, and even willing to help make a short film about our chosen topic. This is in preparation for a Beacon presence (along with The Catherine Cook School) at the worldwide G.I.N. Conference happening in early March.
Hidden Messages in DNA
This interim will introduce students to the many encoded rules within the DNA sequence. This type of science, Bioinformatic Algorithms, is used to find where a gene begins, where a gene ends, where viruses like to insert themselves into a DNA sequence, and such. We will start with the steps to find a rule within the DNA sequence, and eventually use computer programs that have the rules in the programing (algorithm) to “scan” the DNA sequence to find our hidden messages.