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What Turns on that Lightbulb in your head?

Symposium: A Showcase of Excellence

Crowning moments in the school year are when the ColLAB Symposium turns the campus into an interactive exhibition. Students, faculty, parents, and visitors all look forward to walking the campus and taking part in indoor and outdoor demonstrations that span across the school campus.

Students proudly present (formal attire required for this event) passion, knowledge and reflections on their ColLAB, Internships and Independent Studies. Exhibits take on all forms, sizes, and shapes. Students learn organizational, networking, self-reflection and time management skills while pursuing their own passions. Visitors walk away with the knowledge of what students have done for themselves and their communities. 

ColLABorative Learning: Questions in Action

In a 2-week immersive experience, students have focused time to explore a personal question or area of exploration. This can take any number of forms: travel, art, music, science, culture, sociology, policy, or something completely uncharted. With faculty support, the personal exploration of their chosen subject coupled with the collaboration with peers becomes a pursuit of knowledge that students hold onto throughout their adult lives.

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Interdisciplinary, Immersive, and Innovative

ColLABs can take the shape of a field immersive (typically involving foreign travel), an independent project, or an internship. The guiding theme is for a student to find something that piques their interest and to really dive into it. At the end of the ColLAB, students have typically created something from scratch that has real-world application.

Winter 2018 ColLABorative Learning 

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Bath, Body and Beyond: the Business of Beauty
  • India Field Immersive
  • Pop-up Band
  • Stranger Things
  • Student-Driven and Directed Play
  • Painting With The Masters
  • Plants as Medicine
  • Service, Community & Leadership Independent Project
  • The Martian: How to Survive on Mars
  • Broadway Bound
  • Entrepreneurship & Business Independent Project
  • Houston, TX Field Immersive
  • Entrepreneurship: & the Power of Social Media
  • Athletic Training
  • STEM Independent Project
  • The Detective Novel
  • Introduction to Personal Training
  • Digital Photography: Worth 1000 Words
  • Americana: The Musical Heart of America
  • Humanities: Independent Project
  • Art, Tech & Design Independent Project
  • Adolescent Addiction
  • Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Mindful Living
  • and so much more

Sneak Peak at potential Spring 2018 ColLABorative Learning 

  • “Atlas of the Human Body” - Human Anatomy through Yoga
  • Biochemistry and Sociology of Attraction
  • Canada Field Immersive: French Culture and Language in Quebec
  • Combustion Engine Building and Repair
  • France Field Immersive: French Culture, Language, and Community Service in Paris, Vichy, and Lyon
  • Gender and Sports
  • Irish Need Not Apply: Irish History and Culture in Massachusetts
  • Life of a Chef: The Art, Business, and Science of Cooking
  • Man and Nature - Living on Vermont’s Long Trail
  • Manor House: Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
  • Micro-farming and Urban Farming: Feeding the 22nd Century
  • Nicaragua Field Immersive - Global Sustainable Development and Service
  • Street Art in New York City
  • The Sword, Pen, and Arrow: Freedom is Born out of Function
  • Reclaiming the Forest: Reshaping and Recycling Wood
  • Transcendentalism on the Water: Flyfishing 101
  • The Wall Street Experience
  • Winchendon’s Next Top Model (WNTM): A Study in Photography, the Modeling Industry, and Service through Upcycled Fashion


This list can change depending on student interest and the addition of Internships and Independent Studies.


Exploration Borne From Passion

  1. Self-motivated learning: We believe that when students direct their learning toward areas of interest, their education has meaning and purpose. As a result, our students become invested, motivated, and engaged young leaders.
  2. Can-do attitudes: The confidence and skills gained from ColLABS carry over into many other facets of their lives, from the classroom to the playing field, stage, dormitory, and beyond. Students not only have a clearer sense of what leadership entails, they fully embrace leadership roles.
  3. Beyond the school halls: Students begin to explore explore future college majors and possible careers, start developing professional networks, and connect with mentors who live and work beyond the halls of The Winchendon School.
  4. Fully immersive: The ColLAB terms occur twice during the academic year, with a preparation period each week prior to the ColLAB terms. Each project is for that time period a student’s sole academic focus, allowing a student or team of students to get off campus and into the field and to have the full day to set up appointments, meetings, and working sessions.
  5. A large real-world knowledge share: Each ColLAB period culminates in our Symposium where students share and celebrate their work publicly with the greater community. The experiences of each student are displayed, and each student has the opportunity to share their valuable real-world lessons.
  6. Mix and match:  A student can choose a ColLABorative Project for the winter term, and an Internship in the spring. Or, a student can develop and apply to pursue a single interconnected project throughout the year. In other words, the student can mix and match any number of variations to fit his or her interests and goals.

Project Profile: Philippines Post-Post-Disaster Relief

In 2013, Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippine Islands. Over 6,000 people lost their lives in the country, and many cities were destroyed. In the aftermath of the typhoon, numerous NGOs and nonprofits worked to improve conditions in the country. The focus of this ColLAB is after the aftermath-- what happens when these organizations vacate the Philippines, depriving the nation of the necessary resources and manpower to truly make a lasting difference?