On the last night of Session 2, students celebrated new friendships and experiences made during their time at EXPLO. For the final festivities, students and staff donned costumes, played games, made friendship bracelets, wrote letters, signed shirts, and danced to music curated by none other than the Mixing and DJing Course DJs. Once the final Numa of EXPLO 2021 was performed, students headed over to the theater to watch a slideshow of highlights from their time at EXPLO. Upon completion, teary-eyed students headed outside to say their goodbyes and give final hugs to their friends before heading back to their dorms to be picked up in the morning.
In the last Maker Faire of Session 2, students shared their tiny home models, treehouse architectural concepts, and maker space creations with the EXPLO community.
Spinning discs or spinning tracks, the Hovercraft and DJ students made moves in class. Physics students made functioning hovercrafts using wood, plastic, and a leaf blower to inflate and power them across the gym floor. In Music Mixing, the students worked on their own songs mixing new beats and slowing tempos for a more individual vibe.
Students had a great time how to tie knots, leveling up to make paracord bracelets and keychains.
It was a delightful day for designing as students took their tiny home building to the next level through the interior spaces. Some students chose to create open floor plans while others began making furniture.
Our 7th grade students had their own special night for graduation, including a diploma and stage walk as well as a lovely dinner. Students were delighted for the surprise ice-cream sundae station right after their ceremony. We are so proud of each and every student!
Cup stacking competitions can be intense! Students had a fun time learning about cup stacking, speed, and structural integrity. With as much balance as possible they worked in teams (with the slight help of the instructor to reach the top) to build a pyramid up to the ceiling. As soon as they reached the top, they celebrated by knocking it down!
Our students unwound in this activity where they were taught how to bind their own books. Using paper folding techniques to crease a few pages together, the students created a cover and interior pages to make a small book. Once completed they could use it as a journal or sketch pad (maybe even to make their own story!).
Students unleashed their creativity with drawing, weaving, and paper airplanes! Some students raced their planes while others were happily weaving bracelets or getting creative with drawing.
Students in the Tennis Elective had a great time learning the fundamentals of the game as well as various techniques on stance and swing.
Instructors provided students a blueprint — ahem, "green print" — of the tree they will build their tree houses in and, with a classroom full of crafting supplies at their fingertips, they began to build some pretty magical treehouses.
Students learned the fundamentals of outdoor survival including food sourcing, shelter, resources, and navigation.
Students jumped into the world of programming, learning the fundamentals of coding and animations. After mapping out mazes for Sphero robots, they worked in teams to program coordinates commanding the bot to move throughout the maze — without going over the walls! — before moving to the computer lab where they created their own animations.
Students worked on their floor plans and designs for a house they would love to dream in after learning how to scale a home and furniture from 10 feet to a small square on grid paper. Once they drew up the blue prints they began to build homes from foam boards and paper.
Students hit it outta the park in team work while on the field. The rain stayed away and allowed our team to play outside. Some learned how to play for the first time and others just had fun playing!
Today was electrifying for the students as they learn about conductivity, metals, and various solutions. Students had the opportunity to learn and then make their own metal tag where they designed their own design and used the electricity to etch it into the metal.
All signs point toward somewhere; in this case, they point toward nowhere. Students learn about the purpose of signs and their colors and symbols, then make signs that are complete opposites. Students then post their signs around campus for everyone to enjoy.
Students in Casino Math learned how to make their own card games after learning the fundamentals of games like poker and blackjack.
Students make hover crafts with wooden tops, tape, and plastic sheets on the bottom to make the craft move. They use an electric leaf blower to blow air into the hole in the top of the craft down into the plastic pocket they created. With strategic holes poked in the bottom, it creates enough air to stay inflated and also lightly push across the floor.
Students taking Archery add new fundamentals to their quiver of skills. Instructors gave tips on stance, position, aiming, and focus. Watching our students grow certainly tugs at our heartstrings!
We were all making moves in Music Mixing + DJing as the students select some of their favorite songs to mash together.
Baskets of fun happening in Summer Spa! Some students start to make their baskets and decorations, while others start making their own lip gloss. So many great aromas fill the room, and the students are eager to pick the one that best suits them.
Students are asked about what might be considered a global issue and why. Instructors share the dynamics of other countries to provide more insight on the answers to this question, and students listen attentively and put up their talking cards as "speakers".
Without a shadow of a doubt, this activity gets the students' creative light shining as they draw, cut out, and put on their own puppet show.
Students in the Fencing Course this week learn proper foot stance, application of safety equipment, parry and attack techniques, and how to hold a foil. Students practice against one another in pairs, honing their skills while getting feedback from an instructor.
Students and instructors act out a scene they created about a shopkeeper and a mystery item. Each time they reset, the scene needs to be done faster and faster until they can only perform the whole skit in less than a minute.
Students in Hovercraft Physics time how fast their toy box cars can zip down their ramps on different surfaces, experimenting at the intersection of friction and gravity.
Students in the Commercial Illustration Course work on the fundamentals of Illustration. With their kit of colorful supplies, they're able to create their very own food brand poster. While learning the skills to color and impactful design, students make pins to represent something they believe in.
Students in the Bridge Engineering Weekend Workshop tour the Wheaton Campus bridges, taking notes on their structural components. Students then create small models out of spaghetti, Dots, toothpicks, and tape, using physics fundamentals and their imaginations. Once students complete their models, they test the structural integrity of their bridges, using small weights to see how much force their designs could withstand.
Brushes, and colors, and pictures, oh my! Students use their creative side while mixing together some vibrant colors to get creative on layers of paint.
Sunshine came our way for the students to have a wonderful break time outside on the lawn. Instructors and students play Wall Ball, which has been a favorite downtime activity from day one. Other students enjoy the weather with a stroll across the green or a rest under the shade.
Students in the Special Effects Electives create some scary-looking wounds! Using plastic and cotton balls to stage the effect, the students then go back with glue and makeup palettes to add skin tones, bruising, and tears.
Students in the Paint and Plant Night activity create wonderful terracotta pots. They learn the fundamentals of plant life — and a creative way to display them.
Once a "pawn" a time...students enjoy the challenge of our Chess Workshop.
Bow oh bow, what a wonderful day! Students are shown how to paddle around the pond like TuTu the Turtle while learning the safety and fundamentals of kayaking.
The students got the ball rolling in the Soccer Weekend Workshop by playing in scrimmages, shooting skills, dribbling drills, and defensive slides during the morning activity. We would say that they got a real kick out of it!
The Street Luge Workshop teaches students some basic physics and techniques involved in the Olympic sport before heading out to one of Wheaton Campus' larger hills to put their knowledge to the test. Students in the Knitting Weekend Workshop learned some basic stitches and began knitting scarves and experimenting with various colors of yarn.
Students listened to music, sang karaoke, and played games in the gym while the sixth graders enjoyed s'mores and campfire stories at the fire pit.
Students in the Casino Math Course got the chance to teach their original card games to friends and classmates before playing them during this activity group.
Students taking the Debate Course learn communication skills, how to form arguments, and how to conduct formal debates. In their last class, students debated the greatest thing on earth, from family and ice cream to Netflix and traffic cones.
Students in the Art Club designed characters with personality traits and backstories while the D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) Club worked on building their campaigns and character attributes.
Our talented Pioneers put on a showcase for the EXPLO community with a variety of performances including singing, dancing, improvisational theater, comedy sketches, gymnastics, and musical performances.
Students in the Intro to Programming Course create mazes using masking tape for each other to solve by programming Sphero, a rolling robot, to navigate the maze with just the tap of a button.
Students in the Spying and Surveillance Course learn what it takes to be a spy. From cracking codes to flying drones, these students are well on their way to mastering the art of espionage.
Students had an opportunity to "reinvent the wheel" on some New Yorker Cartoons. Each student was able to pick out various printed cartoons and using current events or just simple dialog to describe the black and white cartoon. Using their own voice students wrote creative jokes and we shared the barrel of laughs over.
Students set sail with their imagination during the Sail Cars activity, creating wind-powered cars out of CDs, duct tape, plastic straws, and a box fan.
In Casino math, all bets are off with how much fun students can have. The students stack their chips of knowledge with math fundamentals and casino gaming types. Stakes were high when the students created games on their own.
Everybody needs somebody — even if it's an inanimate somebody! Students take to the art supplies to make their very own companions that can be with them all around campus. Some had buttons, some had dresses, and some had the cutest hats we've ever seen.
Mixing up the possibilities in Summer Spa as the students stir up their powders and delightful aromas for a personalized fizzy bath bomb!
Students who chose today's Karate offering learned fundamentals of the ancient martial art, including athletic foot stance, striking technique, and balance.
There is no such thing as a Medieval life crisis here on campus as our young learners gather on the Quad for a party fit for any knight, king, queen, or imperial! Students had shield-making and crown-making activities throughout the day to prepare themselves for the journey to the middle ages. They make a goblet for their root beer floats, join the jousting tournament, and even make catapults.
Our students are learning how to solve a murder mystery like true investigators.
Students taking the Cupcake Decorating Elective combine their imagination with their baking skills to decorate cookies, cupcakes, and other sweet treats with icing, fondant, sprinkles, and more!
Students brush up on their artistic skills by drawing what they see. During the second half of class, they take their drawings to a HUE new level by mixing up some acrylic paints to bring their illustrations to life.
The students paddle their way around Tutu the Turtle's favorite spot! The large pond is a great way for the students to learn about kayak safety — and catch a breeze on a hot day.
With all the ye olde excitement around campus, the students made their own crowns fit for royalty. They so claimed their thrones with their creative colorful crafts.
The students learned a scent or two about essential oils and soaps today. Smells like they picked up a thing or two about branding and packaging today by creating a logo for their brand and decorating their soap boxes!
What better way to navigate the unexpected than some quick improv? Students raise their hands to ask the all-knowing oracle for answers; the fortune-teller would respond one by one. I wonder if the oracles could tell us what's for dinner!
We couldn't believe our eyes today when we saw the students using eyeshadow pallets to emphasize their features. We also thought some students needed more sleep — however, to our surprise, they had created dark shadows under their eyes with the pallets. We also thought our students were growing up before our eyes until we realized our special effects class was creatively using some unique methods to create natural-looking wrinkles!
Designed to get the creativity flowing, the students created unique movie posters. Using the fundamentals of marketing, communication and layout the students showed us how to judge a movie by its poster and we want to see them all!
Students taking the Logic + Riddles Course use problem-solving and deductive reasoning to solve puzzles and create scavenger hunts. Students used needles, magnets, cork, and tins of water to create their own homemade compasses.
In a classic Wheaton event and EXPLO appropriated tradition, students work with their living groups to create boats and rafts using pool noodles, plastic tarps, duct tape, rope, and cardboard to be raced across the pool by a brave team member. The winning team wins points for their element group and bragging rights for the rest of the session.
Students played a competitive game of kickball with their friends in the gym during their activity period.
Students in the "Singer-Songwriter For a Day" group learned how to structure, compose, and write their own original songs. Students wrote lyrics and chord progressions for their songs before recording their final versions.
Students in the Fantasy Game Designer For-a-Day broke into small groups to create their own role-playing board games. Students developed characters, conflicts, and story arcs while designing a map of a fictional world for players to navigate.
Students taking the Criminal Investigation + Prosecution Course learn about criminal justice from the crime scene to the courtroom. In groups, students examine their simulated murder scene, collecting evidence and taking notes to be used in their prosecution later this week.
Students in the "Triathlete For a Day" group learned about the importance of nutrition and exercise before practicing their biking, running, and swimming stamina. By the end of the day, students were prepared to begin their first triathlons, beginning with swimming, then biking, and finally running laps around Wheaton's quad to see who could get the fastest time.
Students taking the Intro to Programming Course this week learn the fundamentals of coding and the magic behind technology using logic, commands, and science. Students use iPads to program choreography and musical performances with Dash Robots among other programmable pieces of tech.
Students in this activity group made new friends and played Improv games — like seeing how many ways an object can be reimagined.
Students in this activity group began their preparations for Tuesday's tall sock festivities, decorating a new set of tall socks with sequence, paints, and pompoms.
Students taking the Archery Elective this week will target proper foot stance, drawing technique, and safety precautions as they build the quiver of skills.
Students taking the Tennis Elective this week learn tennis fundamentals, like proper forehand and backhand technique, during games and drills.
Students in the "Fashion Designer For a Day" group created inspiration collages using old fashion magazines before designing and assembling their own original pieces using textiles and modified clothing.
Students in the "Playwright For a Day" group created their own plays while learning about script formatting, story arc, and character development. Working in groups or independently, students created original play scripts and performed casted readings for the class at the end of the day.
Students in the Medieval Battle Engineer For a Day program learned the science and history behind some iconic medieval battle contraptions. Students created miniature models of battering rams, catapults, and armor before heading outside to experiment with larger, more functional models.
Voyagers shared their music, poetry, jokes, skits, and artwork to the EXPLO community during a packed talent show on Wednesday night.
Students taking the Makerspace, Treehouse Architecture, and Tiny Home Design Courses this week share their work with friends and staff during the EXPLO Maker Faire at Wheaton's Watson Gallery.
Students taking the Commercial Illustration Course learn about the intersection of marketing and art, creating product advertisements while keeping fonts, colors, and language in mind. Students recreate their favorite movie posters and challenge themselves to advertise less desirable foods to consumers in desirable ways.
In Treehouse Architecture, students design their dream treehouses using a variety of supplies and approaches. First, students identify what aspects of form and function are important for their treehouses before drawing up their designs and creating full-fledged models.
Students in this activity group create their own secret languages, designing the alphabets for their language and experimenting with pronunciations.
The Wall Ball court at EXPLO is a popular spot on campus where kids make friends and teach each other to play the classic ball game. Decorating the Wall Ball wall is a special tradition, where students get to make their mark for everyone on campus to enjoy. Students who chose this activity group decorated the Quad's wall ball wall with multicolored masking tape, tagging their living groups, band logos, and even giving a shoutout to the photographer!
Students in the Makerspace Course this week create to their heart's delight in EXPLO's Maker Lab. Using all the resources the Maker Lab has to offer, students work on creating their own inventions and art pieces, from dioramas to ferris wheel cars to 3D-printed water parks.
Students taking the Tiny Home Design Course spend their week drafting blueprints and building models of their dream tiny homes. Students build their scale models using hot glue guns, foam core, paper, and blueprints for reference and scaling.
Students taking the Wilderness Survival Course this week learn some fundamentals for staying safe in the woods. Students use compasses to practice navigational skills in their outdoor classroom and learn about safe practices for scavenging food in the forest.
Students that chose this activity group played an EXPLO branded game of dodgeball against instructors, with the students winning of course.
Students who chose this activity group created their own designs using a colorful variety of beads and templates. Once finished, an instructor helped students to melt their designs using an iron, creating a solid plaque of their design.
Students taking the Painting Elective this week learn about color theory and brush techniques using acrylic and watercolor paints. Students continue working on their final projects, using pencils to sketch out their ideas before beginning to paint while others work on a project using watercolors, salt, and masking tape.
Students taking Kayaking this week spend their elective period out on the pond, playing games and practicing their mobility on the water. Students explore Peacock Pond and play a game of Sharks and Minnows where two sharks try to tag the minnows as they race across the pond.
Students taking Model UN will learn about the functions and purposes of the United Nations as they represent countries in a class simulation of real world events and crises. In today's class, students learned about global power dynamics and the roles their respective countries play within the United Nations.
Students taking the Visual Arts Course this week will use a variety of materials and methods to create artwork. Students learned how to use a vanishing point to create perspective during today's meeting while sketching their dream bedrooms.
Students who chose the NBA Watch Party cheered on their championship pick from last night's NBA Finals game while other students learned how to play the EXPLO classic, Wall Ball, during their activity period.
Students who chose this activity group created their own planets using paper lanterns, markers, sequence, and pipe cleaners. Some students created planets with mountainous landscapes while others opted for aliens and space voids.
Students taking the Cupcake Decorating Elective this week make their own icing and toppings to decorate cookies and cupcakes with. During today's session, students used their imagination to create a pair of cupcakes with decorations including snakes, mushrooms, and octopuses.
Students in the Murder Mystery Elective this week will work together to crack simulated and historical murder mystery cases. During their latest meeting, students used deductive reasoning to analyze their evidence and came up with questions that will further inform their suspects in the murder case.
During EXPLO's scavenger hunt, students in their living groups learn more about Wheaton Campus and one another as they travel to different locations to record skits and perform tasks. Student group's submissions are rewarded for creativity and effort, and the team with the most points at the end wins!
Students used microscopes in Chemistry and Biology to analyze the cells of an onion during their latest course meeting. Students identified their onion cell's nucleus, cell membrane, and cytoplasm as the class learns about the anatomy of a cell this week.
Here at EXPLO, students and staff alike show off their funkiest tall socks every Tuesday! Here are a few of today's highlights.
Students taking the Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Course this week will investigate a hypothetical murder to determine, and eventually prosecute, the perpetrator. During today's meeting, students analyzed their crime scene, collected evidence, and took notes on what they found.
Students who chose kayaking got the chance to paddle on Peacock Pond during their activity period. Students explored the pond, collecting balls and looking for turtles amongst the lily pads.
Students in the Dungeons & Dragons activity group learned the basics about the fantasy role-playing game and began designing their own characters. In teams, students used their imagination to create characters with attributes and personas that complimented each others' strengths and weaknesses.
Students taking the Archery Elective this week will learn how to shoot a bow and arrow safely and accurately. In today's meeting, students split into teams at different targets and practiced their marksmanship, power, and foot stance.
Students who chose this activity participated in a massive game of Capture the Flag during their activity period. Two teams were created and each player was given a pool noodle to maintain a degree of social distancing while tagging opponents that crossed enemy lines.
Students taking the Fencing Elective this week will learn the foundations of fencing technique and competition. In today's meeting, students suited up in protective attire before practicing their stances, footwork, and parry methods.
Each day, after courses, students report to Community Meeting. There, the answer to the Daily Challenge is announced, the Minute-to-Win-It contest takes place, announcements are made, and much, much more. During the first Community Meeting of Session Two today, students learned the Numa —EXPLO's signature dance performed by everyone after lunch each day — and watched as three of their friends participated in the Minute-to-Win-It contest. Afterwards, students had time on the quad to relax and play games with friends.
With their living groups, students continued learning about each other and what life at EXPLO is like during today's community learning modules. Afterward, students played games, created art, read, and chatted with new friends.
Students in the Theater Special Effects Elective this week learn how tools like prosthetics and makeup can bring a production to life. In today's class, students used makeup to create wrinkles, veins, and under-eye bags to create the illusion of old age and tiredness.
At their first evening event, students competed against two teams of staff members in a gameshow style riddle contest on the quad with the students coming out victorious.
Once finished unpacking, students headed out to their halls to play games, get to know their new neighbors, and learn more about what it means to be a member of the EXPLO community. Living groups then headed to the dining hall for dinner and the quad afterward for icebreakers and to sign up for next weekend's activities!
Excited staff members welcomed Session 2 students to Wheaton Campus today! After saying goodbye to their loved ones, students met their advisors who showed them to their rooms and helped to unpack. Students began getting to know their floormates and new friends on their floors by playing games and decorating their new home-away-from-home.
On the last night of Session One, students celebrated new friends, hobbies, passions, and experiences made over the last three weeks at EXPLO. The final party was packed with games, activity stations, ice cream, dancing, and shirt-signing before everyone headed to the theater to watch a slideshow of highlights from their time at EXPLO. Students then said their teary-eyed goodbyes and had their final hugs before heading off to bed to be reunited with their families in the morning.
Mascots are a major tradition for our EXPLO Grades 4-7 program, taking on celebrity status among the students. This year's EXPLO mascot, Tutu the Turtle, posed for pictures with students and staff on the quad during the Session One Final Party.
During Off-Broadway night, students shared artwork they've worked on in their courses, electives, activities, and weekend programs. Visual arts students shared their paintings and illustrations with their peers in the gallery before everyone headed to Weber Theater to watch original stop-motion films, musical performances, script readings, and more. Once everyone's work had been shared, students headed outside for a cupcake afterparty with their friends.
Students in the Treehouse Architecture Course this week designed their very own treehouses. With each treehouse optimized for the student's interests, there were a variety of stylistic and practical choices, from a built in aerial defense unit, to a balcony with a bed made out of feathers on it.
During last night's EXPLO graduation ceremony, the 7th graders said their goodbyes to the program with a formal dinner, diploma ceremony, and ice cream sundaes.
The Maker Faire gave students taking creative and building courses the opportunity to share their final products with the rest of the EXPLO community. Taking place in the art gallery, students and staff perused around checking out these students' hard work.
In their last meeting of the session, students in the Kayaking Elective paddled around Peacock Pond exploring and playing games. Students in the Cupcake Decorating Elective presented their final summer-themed cupcakes to a panel of judges made up of staff members with an eye for cupcake artistry.
Students taking the Tiny Home Design Course have spent the week designing their dream homes, the only stipulation being that they must be under 400 square feet. In their latest meeting, students translated their blueprints into scale models using foam core.
Meet our living groups! Floor mates for three weeks, friends for life.
The program-wide County Fair brought all of the EXPLO students at Wheaton College together for a night of fun. Complete with a bouncy castle, dunk tank, cotton candy machine, karaoke set up, and a collection of games, competitions, and prizes, students spent the night hanging out with their friends and making memories.
During today's Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Course meeting, students analyzed the fingerprints of their suspects in a criminal case. Upon narrowing their list of suspects, students used pH strips to analyze a glass of liquid found at the scene of the crime to determine whether their victim may have been poisoned.
Students taking the Chemistry and Biology Course this week will explore scientific investigation, proper lab technique, and a variety of scientific reactions. In today's meeting, students created their own crystals using chemical reactions before experimenting with poking a pencil through a plastic bag of water to learn about polymers.
Students taking the Hovercraft Physics Course will experiment with physics principles like pressure and lift, and the laws of motion as they create their very own rideable hovercrafts. In their latest meeting, students made paper airplanes and used CDs and balloons to simulate the science behind the hovercrafts they will be constructing.
During today's activity period, students who chose the Music Improv group combined improv games, beatboxing, and soundtracks to create music. Students in the Melty Bead Art activity used multicolored beads to create designs before melting them so that the colors and beads blend together, creating a plaque.
In this elective, students solve simulated and historical murder cases using curated evidence and deductive reasoning. In today's meeting, students split into groups to analyze different pieces of evidence and eliminate innocent suspects from their list of witnesses.
Students taking the EXPLO Makerspace Course this week will create to their heart's desire using the creative resources and tools available in the MakerSpace classroom. In today's meeting, students began to make models of their future projects using cardboard and composite.
Students taking the Model UN Course this week will learn about how international relations are integral to international crisis aversion and a harmonious effort to better society. In today's meeting, students learned what the United Nations is, and some of the history behind its formation.
Students taking the Spying + Surveillance Course learn to analyze patterns to decipher codes and hidden messages. In their first meeting, students decoded sentences and found patterns to reveal the rules of the code.
Students who chose this activity worked together to create a film of their own! Some students who had attended the club before acted like the characters they have been workshopping, while new students to the club took on more of a director's role, manning the camera and the positioning of the scenes.
Students in this activity made paper airplanes using a variety of preset directions — and their own imaginations. Some aimed for smaller, quicker airplanes, while others attempted to create the largest paper airplane possible. Students put their handiwork to the ultimate test with a flight trial once they completed their airplanes.
Students in the Summer Spa Elective in Week Three are learning how to create a variety of their own lotions, bath bombs, lip balms, and more. In their first meeting of the week, students learned about some of the healing properties of herbs like sage and chamomile before using them in their lip balms and lotions.
Students who chose this activity began making decorations for the upcoming student work showcase, Off-Broadway Night! Students created flowers out of tissue paper, posters to advertise the event to their friends, and more decorations to bedazzle the gallery for their big night!
In the Fantasy Game Designer For a Day exploration group, students became the creators of their own fantastical worlds. Using little more than their imagination and some loose geographical guidelines, groups of students created their own game maps, characters, and role-playing narratives.
Students in the Fashion Designer For a Day weekend program created their own clothes and accessories and learned about some iconic fashion history. In the morning, students created collages using fashion magazines for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing. In the afternoon, students began designing their ideas and bringing them to life.
Students in the Medieval Battle Engineer For a Day program learned about the physics and history behind some iconic medieval battle contraptions. Students created miniature models of battering rams, catapults, and armor before heading outside to experiment with some slightly larger, more functional models.
Students in the Singer-Songwriter For a Day program learned all about the music making process before eventually writing and creating their own songs.
Students in the Playwright For a Day weekend program learned how to create their own scripts. First, students brainstormed ideas for plays in small groups and learned how to structure their scripts. Once their ideas were formulated, students typed up their scripts before performing a read-through of their plays to the rest of the group.
Students in the Triathlete For a Day weekend program learned what goes into completing a triathlon. Students spent the morning getting comfortable with their bikes and scouting their track before meeting an experienced triathlete to get some insider tips. In the afternoon, their race began, starting with swimming, then biking, and finally a run around the campus to finish the race.
Students taking the Commercial Illustration Course this week have learned design and business techniques to create sketches that draw in the viewer. In today's class, students created advertisement posters for their favorite healthy foods.
Students in the Debate Course this week have practiced their public speaking skills and learned lessons about communication and arguments that can be taken well beyond EXPLO. In today's class, students in teams of two presented their assigned arguments on the state of taxation in regards to religious organizations.
Students who chose this activity group learned how to create their own miniature stained glass lookalikes. Using the EXPLO MakerLab, students sketched out their designs before getting to work cutting, gluing, and assembling their stained-glass masterpieces.
Students taking the Murder Mystery Elective have spent the week as detectives, applying analytical thinking skills to unsolved murder case simulations. In their last meeting, the group solved their murder early, and spent their last moments together as a class creating chalkboard creatures and discussing their collective victories. Students in the Casino Math elective have spent the week designing their own games and learning about mathematical phenomenons present in a game of cards. Today, students wrote out the rules to their games on posters so they can teach their friends how to play in an upcoming activity group.
In the Summer Spa Elective, students create their own soaps, bath bombs, scents, and lotions using scientific reactions and a variety of organic materials. In today's class, students packaged their final projects and wrote product descriptions to bring home with them.
Students in the Painting Elective have spent the week compiling an artist's portfolio, practicing their brush technique, and learning about composition and color theory using acrylic and watercolor paints. Today, some students completed their final pieces while others finished early and began working on new paintings.
Students taking the Spying and Surveillance Course got the chance to fly a drone around the quad! They learned how to maneuver the drone in the air and take photos using a remote control.
In today's Logic + Riddles Course, students decorated their group's treasure chest, the final reward for the scavenger hunt the two teams have been creating. Students walked around campus in the second half of the class to scout out locations to hide their clues and treasure chest.
Students in the Cup Stacking activity raced against the clock to build up and take down their cup pyramids while watching the professionals do it on the projector screen. Students who chose the Making a Meme activity created their own EXPLO-themed captions to popular memes while listening to music and dancing.
Two of today's activity period offerings were Book Binding and Pool Noodle Jousting. In Book Binding, students used the Art Room to create book covers to fill with their art and writing. In Pool Noodle Jousting, students...well, jousted with pool noodles! Participating in a tournament style competition, the winner was crowned pool noodle jousting champ. A few of the participants who are in the Fencing elective used their newly learned techniques to their advantage.
Students in the Archery Elective have spent this week refining their marksmanship and technique. In today's class, students were awarded 50 points to their team if they could pop the balloon positioned on the bullseye of the target, and 100 points if they could get the arrow through a cardboard roll.
The Quad is the center of the EXPLO campus and serves as the meeting point for every course, activity, and elective. Students meet here to play games, meet new friends, and learn about what's happening next after each meal.
Students taking the Mixing Music and DJing Course work together to create their own summer mixes using tools like GarageBand and DJ mixing software. In today's class, students rotated through stations to try their hands at different aspects of the music-making process, like using an analog EQ interface, and creating seamless song transitions on a computer.
As we reach the midpoint in session one, students and staff alike have grown more and more together with each passing day. Whether during floor time, quad time, each course and elective, at a meal, or simply during the transition periods between activities, students have learned more about themselves and one another as they revel in newly found friendships.
Students taking the Criminal Investigation + Prosecution Course this week will learn about the criminal justice system from multiple perspectives. Today, students analyzed fingerprints and hair follicles under microscopes as they eliminate suspects in their ongoing investigation simulation.
Those who chose to join the BFFFB (Best Friends Forever Friendship Bracelets) activity group weaved friendship bracelets using a colorful assortment of threads. Some students learned new weaving patterns while others stuck with patterns they already new.
In the Kayaking Elective, students get out on Peacock Pond to learn paddling and safety techniques on the water. Today, small teams of students competed to collect the most balls floating around the pond in a set time. Despite a slight excursion to check out the baby turtle sitting on a lily pad, students were focused as they maneuvered through the pond collecting balls for their teams.
In this course, students explore the magic behind technology by using tools and gadgets to get hands-on programming experience. Today, each student constructed a bird out of Legos that could be connected to software on their computer. Here, students programmed various sounds, like wings flapping, or a bird chirp, to be triggered when the lego bird's wings or head are moved.
Ruby is in her second year at EXPLO. Hailing from Iowa, Ruby is an avid sports fan.
Students taking the Visual Arts Course will navigate all EXPLO's art room has to offer as they create a portfolio of their work this week. Today, some students cut shapes out of cardboard to paste on paper and paint while other students practiced their color mixing skills.
In this week's Cupcake Decorating Elective, students learn all of the steps involved in decorating cupcakes and cookies with icing, sprinkles, and as many other sweet treats as possible. During today's meeting, students made their own icing and decorated cookies.
During today's activity period, two of the choices were Kickball and Blind Contour Drawing. Students in the Kickball activity group headed out to the quad to get active for a competitive game in the sun. In Blind Contour Drawing, students chose a more relaxed way to spend their activity period, drawing one another without looking at their paper. For an extra challenge, students drew without lifting their pencils off of the paper.
Students in the second-week Elective, Theater Special Effects, learn how to apply makeup and prosthetics to achieve their desired looks for the stage. In today's class, students learned how to use tissues, foundation, and glue to create a wrinkled skin effect.
During their first meeting of the week, students in the Spying + Surveillance Course headed to the field to begin their training as secret agents. Taking turns to test how fast they can navigate an obstacle course, these spies are well on their way to classified status.
In their first meeting of the week, students taking the Improvisational Theater Course built their collective stage confidence by doing games and activities to get to know one another.
Students in the Capture the Flag activity competed against one another to take the opposing team's flag before being tagged. To maintain a degree of social distancing, the teams used pool noodles to tag the students and staff members caught behind enemy lines.
With Tall Sock Tuesday only a day away, students who chose this activity got in some last minute preparations for the weekly EXPLO tradition. Each student received a pair of tall socks and got to work in the Art Room, using a variety of materials — and their imaginations, of course — to create their dream socks.
En garde! Students in the Fencing elective learned basic techniques that will serve as the foundation for their meetings over the course of the week. How to hold a foil, achieve proper foot stance, and advance and retreat on the balls of your feet were all covered during a game of red light, green light led by the students.
During their first meeting of the week, students in the Tennis elective practiced their forehand and backhand before playing some games to test their skills.
To round out their first week at EXPLO, students gathered on the quad for ice cream, dancing, singing, and lawn games. After an action-packed weekend of workshops and profession-for-a-day activities, students continued the fun before heading into Week Two, new courses, and new electives on Monday.
Students in this workshop sharpen their skills in the classic strategy game of chess. Participating in a tournament, students play against one another in a fast-paced environment where they can build on their skills in a friendly competition.
Students in this workshop combine science and art to construct their own bridge models, applying the principles of physics to bring their designs to life using a variety of materials before testing the strength of their completed bridges.
In this weekend workshop, students learn to knit their own scarves, using basic techniques like casting on, purling stitches, and tying off to complete their masterpieces.
Students in today's weekend workshop, The Art of Espionage, tested their best spy skills and learned about cryptography. Using a decoding device, students translated a secret message and wrote their own once they understood the code language.
During this weekend's Street Luge workshop, students learned some of the strategies used in professional luging. Riding on custom EXPLO-fabricated street luges, students whizzed down one of Wheaton Campus's more impressive hills to see who could get the fastest time (and learn a little physics along the way).
Students in today's soccer workshop ran through dribbling, passing, and shooting drills before splitting up in to teams to play some scrimmages!
Tim has hit the ground running during his first week at EXPLO, making strides in his classes, Wilderness Survival and Theater Special Effects while making plenty of new friends along the way.
As we near the end of Week One, courses and electives met for the final time to put finishing touches on their projects and present their work to peers and staff. A few highlights were Cupcake Decorating presenting their final cupcakes to a panel of judges, Criminal Investigation and Prosecution holding court in a murder case simulation, and the Maker Space group presenting their handiwork and creative processes at the Maker Faire.
Visual Arts students take advantage of as many resources and supplies as possible to create a wide variety of visual arts pieces in the Wheaton College art studios. Today, students worked on their perspective drawings and assembled portfolios to safely store their creations.
In the Model UN course, students represent countries and collaborate with one another to devise solutions for real world challenges. Students research their country and relevant issues pertaining to it so that they can understand and act in their countries best interest.
Students in the Logic + Riddles course hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills with puzzles, riddles, navigational challenges, and decoding exercises. Over the past week, this small but mighty team split up into groups to design a scavenger hunt for the opposing group. Today, students put their finishing touches on their treasure chests before placing them in secret locations.
In perhaps today's most challenging activity group, students broke up into two teams to devise a plan to sneak fruits into other activity groups while going undetected. With students on the lookout for mischievous fruit planters, students in this activity had to use teamwork and strategy, knowing when to make their moves and when to make their great escape.
Students in today's Plant and Paint activity got their hands in the dirt and the paint, coloring their own clay pots before planting cactuses in them.
Students who chose today's comic drawing activity learned the steps involved in creating a graphic novel and began drawing their own. From tales of dragon battles in outer space to concept pieces where the image quality devolves from panel to panel, students certainly used their imagination.
Students have done wonderfully during their first week at EXPLO. Electives, courses, and activities have been met head-on with focus, drive, and open-mindedness. During the less structured moments in the day, students have continued to thrive. Whether taking a moment to read a book, play a board game, run around the quad, chat with friends, or rejuvenate for the next activity, students have continued to grow, even in the times you might not expect.
Students in the Summer Spa Elective make their own spa products using recipes and scientific reactions. In today's class, students created their own lotions, bath bombs, soap bars, and incense popsicle sticks.
Students who chose improv during today's activity period were imaginative and quick on their feet, coming up with storylines and characters that played off of each other's suggestions. The group played improv games inspired by props and scenarios, like coming up with an excuse to your boss for why you were late, and seeing how many objects a cardboard cutout could be imagined as.
Students in the Casino Math Elective learn the tricks of the trade behind a game of cards. Using probability and mathematical patterns to better understand casino games, students in today's class continued to work on their own game creations. The only rule being that, like in blackjack, the students' games must advantage the dealer.
During tonight's evening event, students competed with their floor groups to see who could score highest in a scavenger hunt. This was no average scavenger hunt, though. Using teamwork and problem solving, student teams solved puzzles and riddles placed around the building to see which team would come out on top.
Students taking the Wilderness Survival Course learn the skills it takes to survive in the woods with nothing more than the pack on their backs. In today's class, student teams practiced their tent-making skills indoors to avoid the heat. After this week's heatwave passes, students will take their skills to the great outdoors!
Students in the Maker Space Course combine creativity, design, and problem-solving skills to bring their practical and artistic visions to life. In today's class, students worked in the maker space lab on a variety of personal and collaborative projects, from clay sculptures of instructors to suction cup photo frames.
Students in the Tiny Home Design Course learn about the steps involved in designing their own homes in small spaces. In today's class, students worked on their house's blueprints, trying to fit as many amenities and design features of their choosing into a 400 square foot space.
During today's activity period, students who chose the Tag Extravaganza and Squirrel Fishing groups got active. Tag Extravaganza players contended in a variety of tag games and challenges while the Squirrel Fishers scavenged for squirrels around campus. When the squirrels weren't taking their bait, students chatted with friends, played games, explored the campus, and read.
In the Theater Special Effects Elective, students learn the skills behind bringing the make-believe into real life on stage. Today, students learned some tricks of the trade by using makeup to create the impression of wounds on themselves and their classmates.
In this Elective, students learn painting techniques using acrylic and watercolor paints. In today's class, students learned about color theory and used only the primary colors to mix hues for their compositions.
Community Meeting today had a number of activities and competitions in addition to the daily Tutu the Turtle appearance and reveal of the daily challenge answer. Three students competed in the Rubik's Cube competition and another three in the minute-to-win-it challenge.
In this course, students experiment with different chemical, physical, and biological reactions to answer scientific questions. In today's class, students learned about the effects of salt on water in liquid, solid, and gaseous forms as well as other types of liquids.
In Debate, students learn confident public speaking skills and how to formulate thoughtful and effective arguments. During today's class, students shared their opinions on an assortment of topics and explained their reasoning to the rest of their class.
During today's morning activity period, students chose between a number of activities to join — two of which were Marvel Fan Club and Drinking Straw Crafts. Students and staff who share a common love for the Marvel superhero series came together to discuss their favorite movies, characters, and powers. Students interested in taking an arts and crafts break met in the art studios where they used pipe-cleaners, straws, and hot glue guns to create to their hearts' delight.