Mini-Seminars Offer Opportunities for Summer Learning & Connection
Blair Academy
laptop and books

While the world of academia continues to deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19, Blair Academy is providing a platform for students to continue their learning and broaden their horizons this summer. Starting July 13, the School is offering a series of mini-seminars on topics ranging from the navigation of LGBTQ+ labels to the exploration of conspiracy theories to the design of rollercoasters. The seminars give students the unique opportunity to learn from their teachers during their summer vacation free of charge.

“Amidst the uncertainty we're all facing this summer, one thing you can be sure of is that Blair teachers have been devising ways to connect and share interests with students, no matter where they might be,” wrote Jim Moore, chair of the English department and mini-seminar coordinator, in an announcement about the program. 

Some seminars, including “Just Keep Swimming! (or: The Psychology of Flourishing)” taught by Associate Dean of Admission Caroline Wilson, focus on life lessons that students will use long after their time at Blair. This class will show students the power of positive thinking and, as Ms. Wilson wrote in its description, “teach [students] how to gain more fulfillment out of life, how to cope with (inevitable) stressful moments and how to flourish.” 

Other classes will focus on physical health, including science teacher Schnayder Termidor’s “Exercise Science 101.” Mr. Termidor described his class stating, “Phone and laptop-based exercise programs are easily accessible to the masses, yet these programs are not necessarily created with everyone's goals in mind. In this seminar, we will dive into the science of exercise, the reasoning behind specific exercise programs, and doing some exercises on our own.” 

There are a variety of other seminars that students may choose, and there is bound to be something to fit everyone’s niche. The 15 mini-seminars take place over three one-week sessions, with each being taught virtually. They will be heavy on student activities and participation, but require little or no homework. Each participating teacher has chosen a subject that is not traditionally taught during the year and about which he or she is passionate. Students may choose any one seminar per week, for a total of three classes throughout the month of July. With over 90 students already signed up, there will be plenty of opportunities for students to stay connected with faculty and each other this summer.  The July mini-seminars offer students the opportunity to learn more about the following topics: 

  • Three Controversial Psychology Studies

  • Just Keep Swimming! (or: The Psychology of Flourishing)

  • Physics at the Intersection of Fear and Fun: Design Your Own Roller Coaster

  • The Power of the Phone Camera

  • Activist Art

  • Exercise Science 101

  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Science

  • Media and Me 

  • Opera: Not Just for Old People in Formal Attire

  • Robocode Challenge

  • Expert Learning 101

  • Microeconomics and Decision-Making

  • Navigating LGBTQ+ Labels

News Headlines