Middle School students use their creativity in different ways during Project Week, a three-day deep dive into interests and passions that takes place in March before Spring Break.
In 2019, 28 workshops were offered covering a wide of experiences. Students could learn about neurosurgery through a "Lenox Anatomy" workshop at Lennox Hill Hospital, "Law and Order" with a New York State judge, and "Haunted New York" with explorations at Sleepy Hollow and Edgar Allen Poe's neighborhoods.They could study interior design with a New York designer, learn about pizza-making in Riverdale and dumpling-making in Chinatown, experience the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, study how Air Jordans revolutionized sports marketing, or investigate food justice and the people who are trying to bring fresh foods to underserved neighborhoods.
Middle School Project Week gives faculty an opportunity to test out new experiences for the curriculum and for Riverdale's summer experiential program, Project Knowmad. It gives students a chance to explore their interests and find out what it's like to be a professional chef or a doctor or a dancer. Moreover, it plants the seed for future outside-the-classroom learning opportunities that are available to students as they move through their Upper School years.
Shoe a horse in Van Cortlandt Park. Go backstage at "Wicked." Shadow the neurosurgeons at Lenox Hill Hospital. Learn about Michael Jordan and sports marketing at Flight Club. As Ricky Lapidus, dean of faculty, says, Middle School Project Week is "an effort to show kids that you learn all the time."
Students went behind the scenes at the Broadway musical, "Wicked."
At Hain Celestial, students learned how science and creativity lead to new food and personal-care products.
Students learned about entrepreneurship and the natural food business at Juice Press.
Brad Anderson, a Riverdale parent and director of the upcoming film Beirut, led a workshop on how movies are put together.
Other recent workshops have included:
- "Dinosaurs, Lasers, and Robots'": Students built a life-sized woolly mammoth. Read the news story.
- "Modern Apothecary": Botany, bacteria, and beauty/personal care. Students learned about how plants can be used for a myriad of purposes.
- "Robocode": Students programmed Sphero, the robotic ball, for a golf game and a mission with a drone.
- "Butter Jam": Students designed and built their own musical instruments using all kinds of materials, and then formed a band and made a music video.
- Creating the Terra Chip: How do new products get created? Working with Hain Celestial Company, pictured above, students learned about creating, producing and marketing new foods. Read the news story.
- White Mountains: A Winter Exploration: Students learned technical skills for winter camping and hiking as well as leadership styles, group dynamics, and risk assessment during a trip to Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire. Read the news story.