Intensives are electives that provide an opportunity for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in mixed-age groups to deeply explore an area of interest or a topic to which they might otherwise have limited or no previous exposure.
Intensives , which meet once a week for a double period for 8 to 10 weeks, are led by middle school teachers or guest instructors.There are three sessions during the school year.
Here are this winter’s Middle School Intensives.
Comic Life - In “Comic Life” we will work individually and collaboratively to create stories that will be brought to life with drawings and pictures. Together we will work to examine various styles and techniques of the art of comics.
Construction - We will challenge ourselves to design and build structures. During this course, our activities will range from constructing a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti, making a 3D shape out of paper, and building the largest house of playing cards. We will think about how triangles and geometry make a structure stronger and how different manifestations of force such as adhesion, cohesion, and friction hold structures together.
K’NEX Amusement Park - Why ride someone else’s rollercoaster when you can build your own? In small groups, students in this Intensive will utilize the K’NEX Amusement Park Sets to first build by the book (there are 13 different blueprinted prototypes) and then create their own original amusement park ride design. If a real-world application of STEM concepts sounds fun to you, and you enjoy critical thinking, exploratory learning, problem-solving, discovery, scientific inquiry, investigation, and experimentation… then this course is for you!
Knitting - Students will start and finish a hat to learn casting on, knitting, purling, and finishing a piece. There’s also always problem-solving along the way when things don’t go as you expect. We’d be happy to have all experiences, from “never knit before” to experienced knitters.
Let’s Go Lobbying - We’re planning to march down to City Hall to talk about common-sense gun laws and one or two other issues. Learn how to make your voice heard.
Mixed Choir - Learn vocal and ensemble techniques through choral repertoire. This is a great opportunity to try singing for a short term and to learn an amazing classic song by Queen! Proposed repertoire in order of priority:
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen)
“Justice” (PL Dunbar and Rollo Dilworth)
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (Bobby McFerrin)
Shark Tank - In this course students will become entrepreneurs, creating and promoting their own inventions. They will reconsider and challenge norms with crafty solutions delivered as a visual or prototype. Throughout the course, students will also learn and apply marketing techniques in order to pitch their product to the Sharks at the end of the course.
Strategy Games Around the World - Students will dive into cultures from different countries and continents- researching and presenting facts from places such as Liberia, New Zealand, Korea, and many others. We will also learn popular strategy games from each place!
Student Diversity Advisory Board (SDAB) - The SDAB engages students interested in diversity work at TPS and wishing to promote change from the student perspective. The inaugural year of the Intensive brought about policy changes and an increase in the number of student affinity groups. This term the board will have a chance to provide feedback regarding what students want and need from faculty/staff, what they feel we are doing well, and what can be improved. Also you will have the chance to discuss current events and student-selected topics related to diversity and social justice. Join us to have your voices heard and continue to bring about change to our TPS community!
The Play’s the Thing! - In this course, students will create the set for the 8th grade Shakespeare Festival. We will paint, build, and create the world of Shakespeare!