Summer Session Pilot

We are trying to create new types of courses that you can’t do just online and you can’t do just in a traditional setting. Fostering a sense of community is vital.

– David Rea, Visiting Scholar in Connected Learning

Seeing in Patterns, Thinking in Code

What do art, biology, music, and cooking have to do with coding?  As students will learn in this new program, a lot!

This new five-week program for rising 8th grade students is offered in two parts. The first part takes place on the Phillips Academy campus for two weeks. The second part is completed online (at home), with students working both independently and collaboratively with peers and instructors.

This Summer Session course combines a variety of disciplines—including poetry, design, linguistics, history, physics, computer science, and math—to help students solve problems, communicate more effectively, and use elementary programming as a tool for inquiry and expression.

Seeing in Patterns, Thinking in Code provides an exciting opportunity for academically qualified students to look at problems from a fresh new angle. Students will be encouraged to think like artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. The only prerequisites are enthusiasm for invention and a willingness to learn from mistakes!

Designed in a unique and innovative format, the five-week program brings students to the Phillips Academy campus as boarding students for the first two weeks, where they will utilize the school’s excellent facilities and resources, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, to think about coding in both complex and simple ways. During the final three weeks, students will collaborate with peers and instructors online as they tackle an array of challenges and complete the program at home

Learn more. Space is limited!

Test, Assess, Share

“Seeing in Patterns, Thinking in Code” is the first iteration of the Summer Session Pilot—a collaboration among the Tang Institute, Summer Session, and the Director of Educational Initiatives—that aims to test, assess, and share new combinations of online learning and in-person classroom experiences. This pilot is led by Visiting Scholar in Connected Learning, David Rea. Participating students should be excited to engage in activities that challenge them to develop sophisticated thinking, research, communication, and metacognitive skills.

Shaping the Experience

Since joining PA in March 2015, Rea has focused on soliciting input from members of the PA community and engaged external practitioners of online learning, both to define the parameters of the pilot and to gather best practices for its implementation. The recurring theme in these conversations has been the importance of building close connections and relationships as central to the Andover experience and as a prerequisite for success in distance learning.