Buried Treasure Found in Pirate Term

In April, we featured an article describing Pirate Term, a concept based learning opportunity that allows students and faculty to dig deep and study one course intensively without distraction.  In that article we also described this type of learning as, ” …creating connections to students prior experiences while finding relevance and creating a fresh new knowledge basethinking beyond the “facts” and connecting factual knowledge of ideas to solve problems while creating new ideas…”   Allowing students to dig deep and study one course intensively without distraction was one of our goals, but what we didn’t know was how successful Pirate term would be as this opportunity is primarily done in the college setting.

Day after day I was amazed by the unique and fascinating opportunities our students were offered.  Opportunities that stretched beyond the students and into the Cedar Valley.  Many people outside our school community helped to make Pirate Term what it was, by  providing resources,  experiences, facilities, equipment, volunteering, etc. Even I had the opportunity to ride a student engineered and built hovercraft, eat a french meal of quiche, ratatouille, and crepes, scuba dive in a local quarry, participate in a discussion with KWWL news anchors, experience MRE’s that reminded me of my military days, take virtual tours of a new Hudson business architecturally designed by students, and so much more.  This was just one component of the learning that took place during Pirate Term.  Take a look at what the kids had to say, or better yet ask one!

Pirate Term was a fun and unique opportunity to learn about something we’re interested in and work with people who share the same interests…I am proud of what I accomplished in Pirate term-  I learned a lot about teamwork and time management, not to mention video editing, angles, scripts, cameras, lighting to name a few…I barely knew anything about the class I took, but feel very comfortable with the things I learned…This experience is all about exploration and learning I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience…Pirate term is an out-of-the-box experience- a chance for us to experience things we normally wouldn’t get to with people not normally in our classes who have the same interests…we learned about designing and engineering and built a working hovercraft…we learned a lot about the town we live in and people around us…we worked as a team and learned from each other…our Pirate Term had a purpose beyond learning.

Pirate Term is something we took a chance with, but the experiences we pulled from it and the conversations we had with students and staff certainly support offering another opportunity like this.  I think we found a buried treasure in Pirate Term!  Below are a couple links to videos that may give you a bit more insight.  Enjoy!