Chelsea Center’s Experiential Learning registration will open March 3, with applications for summer school.
“Experiential learning is not a ‘sit and get’ class–the more effort a student puts into the experience, the more they will learn on many different levels,” according to the Chelsea Center website.
The Experiential Learning Program has occurred during the past three summers. The program started with 10 students in the summer of 2010, but in 2013, the program had acquired 160 students.
The program is individualized for students. “If you have an idea of something you want to do, you fill out a form,” said Julie Burchett, Chelsea Center coordinator. If there isn’t something a student is interested in, then people at the Chelsea Center will try and find something the student is interested in.
Experiential Learning is split into three different categories: Internships, Service Learning and Travel. These categories can be done with a group or by one’s self.
Internships are also split into three sections: Employment, Shadowing and Mentoring. The internships are only available to incoming juniors and seniors. They require a community and faculty sponsor. Summer employment, however, is open to incoming classes.
Alex Ring, junior, shadowed at the radio station 590 The Man. He was able to sit in on a live broadcast and learned many other skills that have to do with radio broadcasting.
“It got me familiar with what this job includes,” Ring said.
Service Learning is volunteering around the community. One experiential learning opportunity in the division is Service Learning Sampler Class. It helps students to see what service opportunities are in the area at which students can volunteer and see things that are happening around the community.
Travel opportunities are for social studies credit. One class starting this summer is Revolutionary Journeys, which is about the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. Another is about unknown St. Louis History, which takes students on field trips to places around St. Louis.
Experiential Learning programs include Teaching Tech, Medical Sample, Construction in the Community, Ceramics and Music Masters.
Within each area there is the opportunity to do each of these things alone. This personal option allows students to be more flexible with their learning schedule. However, activities do have to be for learning. One student who did this traveled to the National Parks for a travel opportunity. To do this as a personal experience, students have to fill out a second application.
Junior Phoebe Mussman spent one month in France and Belgium over the summer with her mother and sister. She enjoyed being able to go overseas.
“I loved being immersed in the culture,” Mussman said. The experiences she had there made her feel like a more well-rounded person.
Experiential Learning can earn students credits Social Studies, Science, Physical Education and other sections. Students can enroll up to 1.0 credits altogether during one summer. Each class is worth .25 to .5 credits.
All opportunities for the experiential learning program are on the Chelsea Center Page.