During the week before spring break, students in grades 6 – 12 will step out of the classroom and into a wide range of experiences, which will further shape their character and build confidence. Mount Vernon students have a unique opportunity to broaden their reach, scope, knowledge, relationships, passion and impact during Interim Term.
Grade 6 will travel to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama to attend their Pathfinder program – three-day camp, featuring a simulated space mission, rocket building/launch, and realistic astronaut simulators. Pathfinder includes a shuttle mission, space history and astronaut training, all of which align closely with the sixth grade Earth Science curriculum.
Grade 7 will travel to Boston, Massachusetts, to dive deeper into their seventh grade history curriculum, highlighting several key points in Revolutionary American history.
Grade 8 will travel to Washington, D.C., where students will explore innovations in aviation at the Air and Space Museum, discuss empathy and ethical decision making after visiting the Holocaust Museum, and discover ways in which conflict was navigated during the Cold War at the National Spy Museum.
Students in grades 9-12 have the option to select their experiences based on interest level.
Arizona: This year a niche group of students will journey to the Patagonia Mountains and stay at the Windsong Peace and Leadership Center. Students will hike along Patagonia Lake, familiarize themselves with a new environment during a camping adventure, take part in survival skill-building and environmental sustainability workshops, and act as leaders while volunteering with community partners during a hands-on visit to a sustainable permaculture farm.
Costa Rica: For the second year, we are partnering with World Leadership School. Our group’s days will be spent working on a Community Project, which will be designed in consultation with the needs and desires of the local community. In addition, our group will experience zip-lining and hiking through the nearby rainforest and white water rafting down the Rio Sarapiquí.
France: On this year’s trip to France, our students will have the opportunity to explore the country from culture-rich Paris to the beaches of Normandy. In Paris, students will experience true European culture, climb the Eiffel Tower, and visit world-renowned masterpieces in the Louvre. In Normandy, the complete opposite of one of the busiest cities in the world, students will see another side of French culture. They will walk on the D-Day beaches, enjoy the tranquil lifestyle in the fishing village of St. Malo, and tour the spectacular and imposing island of Mont Saint-Michel.
Galápagos: The Galápagos are home to a fragile ecosystem facing serious challenges. Students will have an extraordinary opportunity to explore the islands, survey the ecosystem and analyze sustainability issues caused by an increasing human population and the high demands of tourism. Students will expand their global perspectives by following in Darwin’s footsteps.
Ireland and Scotland: Students will visit the metropolitan centers of Scotland and Ireland, travel through the Scottish highlands dotted with peaceful glens, tranquil lochs, and quaint country towns, and discover the famous Giant’s Causeway along the breathtaking Antrim Coast. They will experience hese two gems of the British Isles through its people, land, heritage and culture. These lands were once home to ancient Celtic and Gaelic tribes; today their histories blend comfortably into the modern day. Students will step into the Middle Ages on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and under the towering spire of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.
Mid-Atlantic College Tour: This year’s group will explore college options in the Mid-Atlantic region. They will tour Georgetown, George Washington University, Drexel, Villanova, the University of Maryland, Lehigh, the University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!), and Lafayette University. During their visits, students will see various types of schools: public, private, liberal arts, urban, suburban, and rural – offering them a broad perspective prior to making decisions throughout the college application process. They’ll also take in the sites while visiting our nation’s capitol.
Nashville: Nashville is known as a go-to destination for the arts including painters, jewelers, writers and of course country music. Mount Vernon students will participate in a one-day art workshop at the Oasis Art Center by a nationally known artist, participate in a live recording session, spend a morning with an artist at Scarratt Art Studios, tour Vanderbilt University, and enjoy the sounds of country music and dinner at the Grand Ole Opry.
Peru: Our most adventurous travelers will explore the environment of the Andes mountains and discover the history of the Inca people. The group will make a visit to the ancient capital of Machu Picchu and walk in the footsteps of Incan royalty, before soaking their feet in the mountain’s hot springs. Throughout the course of the trip, students will be challenged to be team leaders and global citizens.
Internships: Juniors and seniors will secure internships with more than a dozen different organizations (19 interns total), including: AT&T, Emory University, Sandy Springs Pediatrics, SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc, Georgia State University, Warner Summer Architecture, ADAC Design Galleria, Hope Arbery Interiors, Sports Rehabilitation Center, Atlanta Image Arts, Woodland Elementary School, The Schenck School and our own Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.
27 different CORE opportunities will be offered throughout the week:
Ranging from Atlanta Eats, Food critics to Georgia College Visits, How to Build a City to Oceanic Occupations, Treetop Quest to Broadway Bootcamp and Sport Marketing, all students will wrap up the week participating in a “Day of Service” around the Atlanta area.
A look back on Interim 2016, as seen in the Summer 2016 Mount Vernon Magazine: