The Experimentory Blog

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The Experimentory Blog

Our year-round blog describes our program, values, and plans for next year.

The Exp Summer Daily

Our summer news consists of daily updates while we're in session -- giving a window into past years.

Tim Schaffer

Mr. Schaffer is a hat rack: he dons so many different rolls here at Deerfield Academy–Experimentory Program Coordinator, Medical Chaperone, Store Clerk, Test Proctor, and Greeter–that you never know where you might bump into him on campus. Before Deerfield, he could be found working for an insurance company, destroying things people don’t want any more, or helping college students ponder the mysteries of life. On the creative side he writes: he contributes to his family’s storybook, keeps a personal blog, and works on a speculative fiction novel. He also reads, doodles, daydreams, teases, tells stories, and cuddles with his cat.

Sampling Deerfield: Community

Posted by Tim Schaffer on March 6, 2018

Aren’t valleys are wonderful? Cool swimming on a hot summer day. Farming in dark, fertile soil. Messing about in boats. It is no quirk of fate or whim that European immigrants settled Deerfield, MA in one.

Of course that’s the perspective of a Valley Dweller. When you live on a mountain, valleys are obstacles. And we all live on mountains – figuratively speaking.

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Maximize Character: Community

Posted by Tim Schaffer on March 1, 2018

You want a tree.

Trees are made of wood, right? So you stop by a lumber yard and purchase some 2x4's. An hour, a bottle of wood glue, and a whole lot of nails later, you have a trunk. Since trees stick out of the ground, you bury one end in dirt. After drilling a few holes and jamming in some broken broom handles, you have branches. Cut up newspapers form leaves; crinkled aluminum foil is...

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The Experimentory in a Nutshell

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 21, 2018

Welcome to the Experimentory Blog! This post is a summary of who we are and what we do.

If you are just learning about the Experimentory for the first time: Welcome! This is a great place to get yourself oriented before you complete an application. Follow the green  links below to learn more about specific areas of interest.

If you are one of our regular readers: Welcome to you as well!! We...

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Experimentory News: One Month to Apply for Financial Aid

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 16, 2018

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! On this day, we announce, on behalf of the Experimentory Office...

Each year we provide tuition grants to facilitate some of our students' participation in the Experimentory. The deadline to apply for Financial Aid is March 15 -- one month away. Hence: a friendly reminder.

Some important details regarding Financial Aid:

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Maximize Your Character: Friendship

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 14, 2018

Designing a city. Creating a short film inspired by the genius pioneers of French cinema. Building prototype garden capable of sustaining an astronaut on Mars. Understanding the values that make human civilization possible. These grand achievements all ring sadly hollow without friends to help, cheer, console and congratulate.

Our students depart our program each summer with new academic...

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Sampling Deerfield: Traditions

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 8, 2018

Deerfield is old. How old, you ask? Well, the US Constitution is older… but not by much. For an institution to last 221 years, it must evolve and adapt to changes in people, culture, and technology. But, perhaps just as importantly, it must also hold onto things that are good. Traditions are a way of preserving institutional culture to help us frame out activities and shape our identity.

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Maximize Your Creativity and Character: Grit

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 6, 2018

“Our whole project is ruined!” Marcus was beside himself. It was the night before the final Experimentory Showcase. In less than 24 hours, they would be presenting their final projects to gathered friends, family, and faculty. And on this night of all nights, a teammate had inadvertently used a wrong power supply, frying the circuit board of an automated prop they’d spent a week building....

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Sampling Deerfield: The Campus

Posted by Tim Schaffer on February 1, 2018

Imagine this: You are invited to play a jazz clarinet solo at your high school’s graduation ceremony. What a thrill! You practice, take extra lessons, and compose your own music. But then a flying saucer intercepts you on the way to the ceremony! A glowing, three-eyed being with no understanding of Earth slang steps out and eats your instrument, expecting it to be a licorice stick. Unable to...

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Maximize Your Creativity: Joy

Posted by Tim Schaffer on January 31, 2018

Joy is something special. It's too lively to be confused with simple contentment. With roots deeper than your current circumstances, it's more than happiness. Joy is finding something that makes your heart sing.

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Sampling Deerfield: Faculty

Posted by Tim Schaffer on January 25, 2018

So much of our life experience is determined by the people around us. Exploring Mars would be drudgery with the wrong people; but a routine trip to the store for a loaf of bread is a joy with your best friend. Seeking a summer of joy rather than drudgery? Experimentory teachers are Deerfield Academy teachers –- people we know exemplify our goals of maximizing creativity and character –- people...

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Experimentory Blog highlights the students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and future plans of Deerfield Academy's middle school summer program. Please complete the form below to subscribe!

Visit our Summer BlogFacebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr pages for snapshots of each summer's adventures. 

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