Middle School Students Explore New Interests During Ex-Day
On January 20th, The Hun Middle School took part in Ex-Day, an annual event in which students and teachers step away from their everyday curriculum and explore new areas of interest. Hun Middle School faculty and staff created and taught twenty-four mini-classes, based on their interests. Each was designed to allow the students to explore new areas of learning, and have fun while doing it. Middle School students attended four sessions of their choosing.
One lively session was Escape the Room, a collaborative, problem-solving activity, requiring participants to solve riddles to “escape” a room. The team solves problems to unlock a series of locked containers, each one holding a subsequent challenge. If they solve all of the problems within the allotted time, the group “escapes” or wins. (The students made a ceremonial exit of the room after solving the last one.)
“I thought that activity really brought everyone together,” said Colm Lovett ’21, who took part. “You might not know everyone in the room, but you have to bond together and help each other. We practiced a lot of teamwork.”
Class subjects ranged from paleontology to space exploration, and activities included martial arts, carpentry, and making handcrafted items, from tutus to terrariums. Other classes included Perplexed by Puzzles, Where Does Your Food Come From, sewing, international games, and fitness. One group used the School’s Polycom System to teleconference with a class in Oman to learn about school there. Some classes emphasized individual creativity while others encouraged collaborative teamwork.
Hun School math teacher Dana Radanovic conceived of Ex-Day three years ago. She wanted students to explore subjects outside of a traditional Middle School curriculum. And she envisioned a day where students and teachers would get to know one another better through shared interests, while students gained enthusiasm for new subject areas.
“You should see the smiles on students’ faces when they discover something that they may like to pursue,” said Ms. Radanovic.
Kayla Hampton ’21, declared the day a success.
“I like getting to pick my own classes,” said Kayla while building a mini-terrarium. “It’s different from what we do normally, but you’re still learning, and I like that.”
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school. Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.