Online Class Offers Interaction with Eight Schools Peers

Jana Brown
Sixth Formers study local watershed in Water and Humanity course
Earlier this month, SPS students Christina Kim ’15 and Alyssa Ingerman ’15 participated in their first synchronous virtual classroom session with students from the Eight School Alliance. The session connected students with Dr. Kelly Caylor, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton, about his work on hydrological sciences.

The two SPS Sixth Formers are engaged this spring in a pilot online learning course. In collaboration with the Eight Schools Association (ESA), St. Paul’s is offering Water and Humanity, a project-based interdisciplinary class team-taught by educators from the Eight Schools, including faculty members from St. Paul’s, Choate, Deerfield, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Northfield Mount Hermon, Phillips Andover, and Phillips Exeter.

Brian Schroyer, a fine arts faculty member at SPS, is teaching the class on behalf of St. Paul’s. Faculty members from other schools include teachers of physics, environmental sciences, math, and Latin. The class includes online and in-person, real-time classwork.

Schroyer said his students and the others in the consortium are currently working on a watershed profile featuring their local ecology, researching the way water moves through their own corners of the world. Information gathered by students at all eight schools will be shared with their peers. Kim and Ingerman are studying the Merrimack River watershed as they work toward comparing their local water environment with those of students at peer schools.

“What intrigued me most about this course is that it is truly interdisciplinary,” says Ingerman. “I was excited to meet other students from different schools and compare our experiences with water through different lenses. It’s important to be able to communicate with other schools as well as integrate different areas of learning.”

Water and Humanity is the second online course offered this year by St. Paul’s in collaboration with the Eight Schools Alliance. In the fall, select Sixth Form students enrolled in the online study of Arabic language.