News & Blog

Middle School Intersession Week for Students to Discover Passions

Passion Project Activity

By Andy Zimmer, Middle School Director

New this year, Middle School students will be taking part in a week-long immersion experience where they can identify, explore, and share their individual passions. It’s being called Intersession Week 2016, and it will take place Monday, January 25 through Friday, January 29th (intentionally coinciding with ERB testing).

During this week, students will use the following schedule for each day:

  • 8:00am–10:00am – ERB Testing
  • 10:00am–12:00pm – Intersession Part One
  • 12:00pm–12:45pm – Lunch (all grades together)
  • 12:45pm–2:45pm – Intersession Part Two

The week may end with a call to action or a prototype of a potential impactful product; however, the greatest value of student participation will be in the process of identifying, exploring, refining, and sharing their passions.

Parents are Encouraged to Participate
As part of this learning experience, we would like to leverage the wealth of expertise and knowledge in our community by inviting parents to serve as resources, role models, and coaches during Intersession Week. While our students’ passions have yet to be determined, we anticipate needing experts in engineering, medicine, technology, environment, business, community development, among many others.

Parent experts are welcome to join us for all or part of this week (primary need is on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Students may interview, ask for feedback, look for advice, or share results with our parent experts. No prior training or experience is necessary.

This mission-driven experience will equip our students with new skills in critical thinking, perseverance, entrepreneurial thinking, and effective communication—all skills that will help them become successful and empowered citizens of our community. Research also supports the development of these skills for future success in school and life.

In Coordination with DistinguishMe
This week-long experience is being developed in coordination with DistinguishMe, which is an organization devoted to inspiring students to discover their passions. DistinguishMe co-founders Dr. Matt Gibson (Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship) and Moses Lee (Founder of Seelio) are helping design and implement Intersession Week at Emerson.

For more information on DistinguishMe, please explore the following links: