Perhaps the time of year that gives an observer the clearest idea of Mountain Shadows is between the February and April breaks when Olympic Studies happens. A much anticipated block every year since the school’s beginning, this is a time when each student chooses a topic about which she or he harbors a passion for learning and is paired with a mentor. Together, student and mentor map out a plan for the in-depth study, including a project to illustrate what has been learned over the course of several weeks, using and sharpening the academic tools for research and the expression of individual creativity. Finally, all of the students gather to display and share what they have learned during a gala Olympic Studies Night, the culmination of this happy, intensive immersion.
K-9 SEARCH AND RESCUE
How do search and rescue dogs find people who are lost in the woods? What is the difference between dogs who search with their noses up, working into the wind and dogs who work with their noses following a scent on the ground? Which is faster? What is the science behind a dog's amazing sense of smell? How do you develop a search grid? Ave studied and embedded with the New England K-9 Search and Rescue Team to study this fascinating and intricate science.
THE STUDY OF MOSAICS
When and where did the first mosaic piece originate? What was it made of, and who made it? What type of materials can be used to create the beautiful mosaics seen around the world? What techniques and tools are used to create each piece? All these questions were answered with Charlotte's in-depth study of Mosaics. She also had a large work-in - progress mosaic on the ground so visitors to her station could participate in the creative process during Olympic Studies Night.
THE STUDY OF SILOS
Who knew there was such history behind the silo? One of our first graders plunged into this study, and we all received an education beyond our wildest dreams. Did you know the first Silo Tower in America was built in Spring Grove, Illinois, in 1873? BUT, the first grain silos were used in Ancient Greece as far back as the late 8th century B.C. Everyone learned something new from Sarah's study of Silos.