Friday, May 20, 2016

An Inside Look at Project Adventure at Burlington High School

Great post from Jenn Scheffer about the Project Adventure curriculum a BHS:

Can students recognize that their attempt to participate and complete a challenge is more significant than the performance result?
Can student participate fully and actively in various team-building activities?
Can students understand the value of different forms of communication through challenges and demonstrate inter/intrapersonal skills to accomplish tasks?
These are just a few of the essential questions you will find in the Project Adventure curriculum at Burlington High School.
Physical education teachers Caitlyn Germain and Chris Sweeney recently invited me to one of their Project Adventure classes where I had the unique (and somewhat scary) opportunity to experience exactly what “adventure” is all about. According to the formal list of Project Adventure terms, “adventure is a way of doing; it is not something that you do. If the word adventure conjures up images of rock climbing, rafting and parachuting, pause for a moment and imagine instead a way of doing.” In other words, Project Adventure at Burlington High School is really about immersing students in surprising, engaging activities and experiences which “compel them into doing things they never imagined possible.”
Students who participate in Project Adventure take on challenges which test them physically, emotionally, and mentally. Prior to taking on any challenges, whether it be the rock climbing wall, climbing the rope ladder, or learning how to belay, students learn about safety protocols. Students also engage in leadership, team building, and trust building activities and they practice challenge techniques on the ground before taking to the air. Both Ms. Germain and Mr. Sweeney create a safe, comfortable, and fun atmosphere for their students, so by the time students are ready to try the challenge course, they are able to easily communicate how they feel and what they are willing to try. I witnessed first hand how students were able to interact with one another in a respectful, supportive, and caring manner. They encouraged each other through some physically grueling challenges and celebrated when they were able to successfully complete what they had set out to accomplish. Both Ms. Germain and Mr. Sweeney offered their encouragement throughout the class (and especially to me as I tried one of the challenges) always emphasized safety, and it was evident Project Adventure is something they both love to teach. The video below highlights some of the indoor challenge courses and includes a brief interview with Ms. Germain, Mr. Sweeney, and several of their students. Take a look at how awesome Project Adventure is at Burlington High School!

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