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Day 8 – Let the Games Begin…

Jul 17, 2016 12:07:00 PM

In addition to students, teachers, and staff, the Experimentory is part of an extended community here on Deerfield Academy’s campus. One group within that larger community is KIPP-STEP summer program. Last Saturday both programs joined together for our very own Olympic Games – but I’ll let Program Proctor Sam Morse tell more.

Although the students have already endured a full week of classes, activities, and field trips, today they were given a unique opportunity to showcase their hidden athletic abilities at the Experimentory/KIPP STEP Olympics. The students were split up into several teams with both Experimentory students and KIPP students. KIPP STEP is another residential program at Deerfield for middle school aged students. Similar to the Experimentory, the KIPP students attend a variety of challenging classes that allow them to explore their academic potential and the learn more about the boarding school experience.

Before the Olympics began, the students had a sit-down lunch with their teams to meet and strategize. Shortly after lunch, the main quad was filled with energy, excitement, and spirit. The Experimentory staff joined up with the KIPP staff to plan activities that would allow all the kids to participate! I was surprised by how quickly the friendships between the Programs formed. The kids brought together various ideas and strategies to solve each puzzle and win every game. I was pleased to watch students step up, work together, and listen to one another. The students were split up into 10 different teams. Each team had 4 or 5 students from the Experimentory and 4 students from KIPP.

During the Olympics I led the hula-hoop chain challenge. Each round, two teams faced off

Midde school students laugh as they struggle to complete summer field games.
Team Grey didn’t just dominate the Hula Hoop Challenge – they were Olympic Champions. See below for more details.

against one another. The goal was for each team to pass a hula-hoop from the front of the line to the back. Catch Number One: they couldn’t use their hands. Catch Number Two (the most challenging aspect of the game): the timer. The students had to move the hula-hoop down the line as fast as possible.

I was immediately amazed by the students’ communication skills. Within seconds they were communicating their ideas while still listening to their teammates. I was particularly excited to see some quieter students contribute and even lead their groups.

The grey and blue teams were the last to compete at my station. As the blue team set up for the contest, I watched as the grey team sat quietly right across from them. “3-2-1- GO!” I shouted and started the timer. The Blue Team was amazingly fast, but the Grey Team impressed me just as much though in a different way. As they recognized their competitors’ skill, they began cheering them on – an incredible show of

Midde school students from two summer programs play a hula hoop challenge
Team Blue loops the hoop around the group. Jennifer and Shawn are pictured here.

sportsmanship. I feel that moment defined the day: whether they lost or won, each kid congratulated the others with a smile.

As many of you know, our motto at the Experimentory is E=MC2 (Experimentory= Maximizing Character and Creativity). The Experimentory/KIPP Olympic games gave our students the opportunity to put our motto to work. Both the Grey Team and the Blue Team could not have done a better job at maximizing their characters. I think I speak for all staff members when I say let’s keep it up over the next three weeks!

– Sam M

The Exp Summer Daily provides news and updates while we are in session in July and August. The rest of the year, check out the Experimentory Blog for posts feature our students, teachers, classes, values, goals, and plans for the coming year.