Immersive Learning at its Best!

Lori Strauss, Head of School

Valuable insights from week one of Intersession and Internships—an interdisciplinary approach to learning.

This week has been full of aha moments as I’ve watched students and teachers immerse themselves in our Intersession and Internship program. Our faculty have spent months designing courses that stimulate intrinsic curiosity and generate questions for students to grapple with answering. These courses are also an interdisciplinary approach to learning, where students work collaboratively with students across grade levels, teacher experts, and community partners. The genuine excitement and engagement I see from the students and adults are palpable. 

It has been a busy and fulfilling week. Take a look at this small sample of the work going on in the classroom and throughout the community. 

  • The Great Field Bake-off Intersession students began their week designing aprons and then hit the streets of Georgetown to survey people on their preferences for tasty treats. Three teams of middle school students are working together to present an argument, with researched evidence, on why a local bakery should add their proposed recipe to their menu.

  • The Social Justice in Action group is immersed in the components of social justice through community service work with our partner, A Wider Circle. They started the week with a visit to the U Street neighborhood in DC to observe and begin to understand how history inspires art and provides a platform to lift residents' voices. They will also visit local DC shops and learn about the importance of supporting local businesses throughout our community. 

  • In the CSI Intersession, students initially asked, "How do scientists use DNA evidence to eliminate or include suspects?" and "What role does science play in the criminal justice system?" Students conducted a crime-scene simulation and gel electrophoresis analysis lab this week. They are also connecting with local DC forensic professionals as they immerse themselves in forensic science techniques and applications. Assuming a variety of roles (expert witnesses, prosecution and defense teams, and journalists), students will eventually participate in a mock trial where they apply their scientific learning and examine the ethical and societal implications of using forensic science in the justice system.

  • The Empty Bowls course combines art with service learning by working closely with their community partner, Bread for the City. Students spend hours working with Bread for the City, volunteering on-site. Back at school, they throw clay and hand-build to form functional ceramic bowls by throwing on the potter's wheel, and finally, they glaze and fire the forms. Students plan and execute a community fundraiser to sell their pottery bowls, educate the community about what they learned through Bread for the City, and donate the funds to the community partner. 

  • In Paris Fashion Week, students are answering the driving question, "How does my vision of fashion positively impact my community within the parameters of sustainability and diversity?" After creating fashion mood boards, taking field trips to fashion houses such as Dior and local thrift stores, and researching fashion sustainability, students are designing three final pieces for presentation.  

We also have more than 60 students participating in internships across the DMV and nationally. Student interns explore various career paths through corporations, small businesses, and organizations. They are gaining real-world experience and professional connections in their chosen fields of architecture, healthcare, veterinary medicine, nonprofit management, government, entrepreneurship, journalism, marketing, and more. I can’t wait to hear their reflections when they return to campus.   

Students' critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration skills are the focus of this time—preparing students for life beyond Field. I am grateful to be a part of a community that values interdisciplinary and connected learning. I look forward to our culminating event where students will share their final projects, research, and experiences at the Intersession Showcase.