News From Masters

Seventh Graders Take on "Survival" Challenges
Posted 09/29/2017 08:00AM

Seventh grade students went geocaching, created shelters from tree branches and fanned out across campus during a scavenger hunt this week as part of the annual Exploration Week.

The three days of activities serve as an introduction to the students’ interdisciplinary units on diversity and multiculturalism, according to Middle School humanities teacher Mary Chappell, one of the faculty members who planned the events.

The students formed teams to take on a series of challenges. Many dressed up as Henry Hudson crew members from 1609, donning baggy shirts, sashes, rolled-up pants and long socks.

With a goal of developing individual and group problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills, the “exploration” teams gained points during such activities as completing a ropes course and crossing an “acid swamp” by walking from one carpet square to another on a field, avoiding the grass, which represented the “acid.”

During a scavenger hunt on Wednesday morning, the seventh graders worked together to find answers to riddles provided by their teachers. They looked for clues in the Pittsburgh Library, inspected the stained glass windows in Masters Hall, and investigated several other locations. 

Later, they headed to the woods beyond Pamela Clarke Field to test their survival skills by building small campfires and creating shelters by gathering and placing tree branches against tree trunks.

Joining Ms. Chappell in overseeing the Exploration Week adventures were humanities teacher Paul Friedman, science teacher Rachel Katkar and physical education teacher Meghan MacWilliams.

“It was exhausting, challenging and exciting for everyone,” says Ms. Chappell. 

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