Dr. Palmer’s Update: July 2012
It’s summertime at Principia. Following June athletic camps, our students scattered for adventures near and far.
Within a few weeks, however, reunion at the College brought a crowd of more than 800 alumni, spouses, and children—one of the largest groups ever—to liven things up. It was terrific to reconnect with so many of you. The group ranged from infant children of more recent grads to Junior College alums from the 1940s. We laughed, played, and learned together—having fun and celebrating the impact Principia has had on each of us.
Another influx of alumni and friends will take part in Summer Session July 14–28. Participants can choose from more than 45 different classes, ranging from The Changing Face of Africa to Introduction to Astronomy. Register by July 9 and join us on the bluffs for a week or two of painting, studying the stars, sculpting, learning French, or diving into the Bible. It’s your choice!
During reunion, we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a 21st-century classroom funded by the 50th Reunion College Classes of 1962 and 1963. Our College faculty and students will start using the room this fall, taking advantage of smartboards, high-definition screens, and other state-of-the-art technology to enhance learning and overcome the limitations of distance. Students will be able to take virtual tours, interact with guest speakers around the world, and take part in conferences or experiments almost anywhere on the planet. Most importantly, this classroom will help us discover new ways to teach and learn.
Innovation is happening across Principia, as evidenced by this summer’s activities. A group of 25 School faculty and staff just attended the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference in St. Louis. The conference title, “Revolutionizing the Way We Teach and Learn,” describes exactly what’s happening at all levels of the School. Faculty are differentiating their instruction to meet individual student needs and making learning experiential.
As part of the School’s emphasis on improving students’ knowledge of the Bible, a Bible seminar will be offered at the Upper School next year. In addition, the entire School is reading the first two books of the Bible during the summer. Study guides with discussion questions for different grade levels are available to support this project.
The College solar car team is one of the few groups of students remaining at Principia all summer. The team is preparing to race in the American Solar Challenge this month. The 1,600-mile race around the Great Lakes starts in Rochester, New York, on July 14. It covers eight states in eight days, ending up in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on July 21.
The Principia Clubs of Rochester and Minnesota are both hosting events to meet and greet the team on the front and back ends of the race. If you will be in either area, RSVP at www.principiaalumni.org/rochester or www.principiaalumni.org/minnesota.
I hope your summer is allowing you to connect with longtime friends, learn something new, and even cheer for a hard-working group of talented students. Reunion, Summer Session, and the College’s solar car team are certainly providing those opportunities for many Principians. And we would love to have you join in the fun!