There are occasions throughout the school year for AIM students to enhance their education and explore the world beyond their classroom and school community. These include both local and global opportunities and each is designed to enrich their understanding of themselves and the world at large.
Teton Science School
Our 8th grade students have the unique opportunity to travel to the Teton Science School in Kelly, Wyoming for one week as an adjunct component of their science course. In cooperation with the staff at the Teton Science School, AIM teachers create an individualized program that integrates core classroom concepts with learning experiences in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Topics within the curriculum include discovering the physical forces that shape the landscape, understanding the winter environment, and learning about the relationships involved in the ecology of the land.
Students visit a glacier to observe the forces that shape the land; participate in field studies to learn first-hand how living things adapt to the winter climate; and explore the area by cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Opportunities to visit the Murie Museum, Teton Raptor Center, Wildlife Museum, and Caribou Refuge provide the students additional time to reinforce scientific concepts and integrate them with an element of creativity and writing. The culminating project of this experience is a group research experiment that is student designed and tested.
Last year our students investigated the biodiversity of Kelly Warm Springs by surveying the species in the water. They also measured the impact of cross- country skiing on the wildlife that live in the subnivean (the bottom most) layer of the snowpack. Throughout this project, students used scientific methods by creating the research question, designing the experiment, and testing the gathered data. They learned throughout this experience that working collaboratively and implementing their critical thinking skills are key to a successful outcome.
Our 7th grade students enjoy a five-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg as the culmination of their history studies where the world becomes their classroom. Students tried their hand at and explored numerous trades while also experiencing the hardships and fun times allowing them to gain full appreciation for just what it was like to live during the colonial time period.
Disney Youth Education Series
9th grade students travel to Orlando, Florida to participate in the Disney Youth Education Series program as part of our Four Threads the The Future program. In partnership with Disney, our students participate in programs that seamlessly align with AIM’s Four Threads: Arts & Design, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Global Competency & Social Sustainability, and Science & Engineering. They experience first hand how the teachings from the Four Threads framework translate into important college and career skills. Courses have included workshops on animation, performance, marine biology, youth leadership, the physics of rides, and much more. Students make presentations to the entire Upper School upon return.
International Senior Seminar
Senior Seminar is a survey course that focuses on a different geographic region each year and culminates in domestic and international travel opportunities. The course is blocked between History and Science and covers a broad span of history and global science topics.
- During the 2011-2012 school year, Seniors traveled to Ireland and spent nine days circling the island nation visiting sights related to the topics studied in class. Highlights included the Cliffs of Moher, The Dingle Peninsula, Killarney, Galway and a series of student led public presentations in front of Dublin sights.
- During the 2012-2013 school year, we traveled down the mighty Mississippi to complement a study of US History and this important waterway. Students studied the French and Spanish colonial history of North America from the Gulf of Mexico to French Canada. We then spent eight days in and around New Orleans. Highlights included plantation visits, a bayou tour and a traditional creole meal in a French Quarter cottage.
- During the 2013-2014 school year, we traveled to Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome for an eight day application of our study of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the science of water management in Venice. Highlights included a day tour through the hills of Assisi, paper-making in Florence and a lot of family style meals shared with our Canadian partner school.
- During the 2014-2015 school year, we traveled to Spain after a year study of urban biology and an exploration of the Roman, Islamic and Spanish histories of the Iberian Peninsula. We spent eight days there as our studies came to life in Barcelona, Zaragoza and Madrid.
- During the 2015-2016 school year, we traveled to London and Scotland and in the spring of 2016-2017 we will travel to the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany on a tour of major Eastern European cities including Prague, Krakov, Budapest and Berlin.
International Service Learning - Costa Rica
Each Spring, Upper School students have the option to participate in service-based travel. AIM students have supported schools and local health initiatives in the Dominican Republic, Belize and Panama. They also worked side by side with ecologists on the beaches of Costa Rica to help protect a rare and endangered breed of sea turtle.