Our unique winter and spring symposiums are modeled after college 'J-terms.' This immersion schedule allows students and staff to travel, explore passions, complete service projects, and build relationships in our greater community. The courses last the entire school day for six days straight. Through these courses, students are able to transfer their classroom knowledge to other facets. Details about each course can be viewed by clicking the symposium title.
*Please click on the subtitles below for more information.
Horrible Histories reenacts skits from the hit BBC TV show of the same title. If you have never heard of “Horrible Histories” before, all you need to do is watch a few skits on YouTube. We create a half hour production of the popular show starting with the ancient world and concluding with the present day. We recreate numerous skits, some songs, and the Bob Hale report! You must be willing to act, memorize lines, and have fun with history!
We will downhill ski at Spirit Mountain all six days of the symposium. An application is required.
We know Duluth for its “green space.” We are blessed to have a city with an abundance of parks and trails. What do you do when the green space is covered in white snow? You bundle up and enjoy! This class takes advantage of the beauty of winter by walking or snowshoeing in local parks, including Peidmont, Chester, Harley, Tischer, and Lester. We also explore much of the Superior hiking trail. The woods take on a whole new character when covered in snow, so come for class. Join me for a walk in the woods in winter! (Good boots and appropriate clothing required. You can arrange to borrow boots, clothing, etc., as needed.)
Take a stand! This class will investigate contemporary social issues that affect us all, discover their causes, reveal contributing factors and affected parties, propose solutions, and better understand the people and world around us. Students watch documentaries, read journal and magazine articles, and conduct their own research considering the bias and evaluating all sides of an issue to formulate their positions. Students then “take sides” using their knowledge of the topic and powers of persuasion to convince their classmates that they have the best answers to some of the biggest questions faced by modern man and woman. This class is all about considering various points of view, ethics, and debate. Please consider if you will be able to contribute in a meaningful and respectful way, even when facing tough opponents and discussing controversial issues. Global warming, immigration, overpopulation, food production and supply, public education, globalization, consumption, capital punishment, and stem cell research are all possible topics of consideration. We encourage mature audiences and participants only.
This class watches high interest documentaries and completes follow up research and discussions. Field trips applicable to documentaries are included as often as possible!
We designed this class to help students free their creative spirit and take their writing to the next level. The focus is on generating ideas, playing with language, and producing short, original works. Types of writing likely include poetry, journal entries, narratives, and short stories. The main project is a personal magazine (Zine) written, edited, designed, and published by the student. Students at all levels are welcome to enroll.
“All Things France” studies some of the major points of French history, literature, culture, art, cuisine, manners and lifestyles, and geography. This course is especially useful for those that will travel to France or any student that might be interested in these topics. We encourage both to take the class. We will do some reading, watch several films, and do art, along with discussion of other topics, as we try to get a better understanding of what makes France what it is.
We embrace our inner “maker” creating projects. Students make a space for the HCIS community to build, create, and learn in. No experience is necessary, but you are expected to share your talents and skills with others. Please reference www.spaces.makerspace.com for additional information.
We read stories of survival of mountain climbers on Mt. Everest and other major peaks. We also practice our own skill climbing the wall at the Y!
We perform music from Ghana, West Africa. We sing in Ewe and other West African languages. We also play many instruments including the kpanlogo (hand drum), gyil (xylophone), donno (talking drum) and adenkum (gourd). We designed this course for beginners. Students learn the basic repertoire of the African Music Ensemble. Interested students may audition for the ensemble after having completed the course. Only current African Music Ensemble members may repeat this course (instructor approval required).
During this class, we launch one or more Destination Imagination teams! If you are not familiar with this class, here is a statement from its mission. “The Destination Imagination program encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others, and their ideas and collaborative program solving process.” We hope this class will extend into a Tuesday/Thursday elective in the spring so that our teams may compete in tournaments.
Students cultivate an understanding of Japanese culture by studying an overview of the food, language, music, and entertainment of Japan. Activities include basic language and historical analysis, dining etiquette, and some film appreciation. Hands on activities involve origami lessons, musical instrument demonstrations, and interactive learning games.
We will give you the skills and time to put together your own game (RPG, card, or just good ol’ board game). Time will be divided between game writing, playing, testing, and learning fundamentals of probability so that you can make math work for you. You may repeat this course if you earned a B or better last time.
Do you have a passion for the natural world? Do meandering creeks intrigue you? Do you want to pour your thoughts out in a journal, or learn how? Do you enjoy (or at least tolerate) reading? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then this clearly is the class for you! We will spend our mornings reading and analyzing nature-oriented literature, having deep discussions, and eating bagels. In the afternoons, we will grab our journals and visit some of the wondrous natural areas of Duluth. The final product will be a portfolio of writing. Students of all ability levels are welcome. This class does involve some hiking (up to five miles).
Did you know the first major sale of Civil War excess arms was in Superior, WI to try to stop the construction of the Duluth ship canal? Our region is rich with history and personal narratives. In this symposium, we will travel through Duluth uncovering these stories. From the “end of the carline,” where teenagers would take a stand to stop the forming KKK in Duluth, to the pirates of Park Point, we will traverse through the city’s neighborhoods learning about people like you and how they lived their lives in this northern region. This class involves a lot of walking, journal recordings, and one project.
Have you spent time in Hartley, Lester, or Piedmont Park? If so, you may have seen people mountain biking. With the help of the Cyclist of Gitchee Gummi Shores (COGGS), Duluth is becoming a hot spot for mountain biking in the Midwest. This year, HCIS is partnering with COGGS to help build the Duluth Traverse, a multi-use mountain bike trail from Jaye Cooke to Lester Park. Students will be working in Hartley and other areas building and repairing the trail. Work will include the initial clearing of trees and brush, creating the actual dirt trail, and making bench cuts and berms. Students will have the chance to use tools and dig in the dirt. Don't miss this chance to build, maintain, and spend time on trail. Please note! Due to transportation needs, this class may require some early arrivals (before 8:30 a.m.) or some late dismissals (after 3:00 p.m.) to facilitate drop-offs, pick-ups, or DTA schedules.
Help Camp Miller put their principles of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility into practice. Camp Miller, a summer residential camp for kids, is part of the Duluth YMCA and is dedicated to making their programs accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. This service learning symposium class is a chance to participate in assisting a non-profit organization achieve its vision of building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. Join this class, stay at camp four days and three nights, and assist camp staff in getting ready for the coming summer.
There are no absolute rules to follow when you learn to make a quilt. Quilters are constantly developing new patterns and time-saving ways to accomplish the task of creating a beautiful, warm piece of art that is also very functional, as it serves the purpose to keep someone warm and comfortable. We will start by simply learning the basics of sewing. We will then quickly move to designing, preparing, and sewing patchwork quilts from fabric remnants that have been donated to us. You will take part in all aspects of quilt making: planning, creating, sewing, and the finishing details. All quilts that we make in class will be donated to local organizations. This will include making baby and children’s quilts for hospitals, colorful lap quilts for the cancer treatment center, and warm blankets for local care facilities.
There is one thing we can be sure of; We are going to die. But many of us are not sure what to make of that fact. This course will examine a number of issues that come up once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Other topics: immortality, what it is to die, and different attitudes about death. How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life? We also hope to visit a cemetery and a funeral home. Caution: This class will take an academic and philosophical view of death. Do not take this class if you are unable to be open about this subject.
Aren't we lucky to live in such a beautiful place? In this class we will spend most of our time in the Duluth area parks and trails closely studying and recording the beauty of nature around us. We will create and fill a nature journal with images of our observations in the natural world and use local plant and animal books to inform our observations. Students should expect to spend many hours outside everyday both hiking and sitting on the ground drawing and painting (watercolors).
If you were a student who participated in Singing in the 60s or The Sound of Music, or a singer that can pick things up quickly and would like to take the show out into the community, this is the symposium for you! We will be going to nursing homes, hospice centers, and other community agencies to provide entertainment to the elderly and other community members.
Why does everything get sucked out of an airliner when someone opens the door? This class will answer this question and many more about airplanes, rockets, weather, and aviation careers. We will build model airplanes and rockets, go on several aviation related field trips, and study the science behind the miracle of flight! Some field trips require long walks outdoors. This will be a hands on class - it is for students that want to participate.
In this class, students will have the opportunity to hike the Duluth section of the Superior Hiking Trail. Starting at the Grand Portage trail head in Jay Cooke State Park and ending at the State Trail parking lot on Martin Road, students will hike all 41 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail that weave through the hillside and streets of Duluth. Daily hikes will range from 6 to 9 miles. Although we won't do any camping, we will be spending full days out on the trail, so students must be prepared for moderate to difficult hiking and dress appropriately for late spring in Duluth. Sturdy foot wear and wind and/or rain-resistant jackets are a must. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy trails that many Harbor City students helped build during past symposiums!
Sun Tzu says, “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.” This course will cover military strategies of some of the greatest battles the world has ever witnessed. Through lectures and videos, we will uncover the techniques that were used and then will head over to Bayfront to reenact them.
Ride your bicycle out to the end of park point each morning and then spend the day sailing. You can learn everything from basic knot tying to advanced racing tactics. We will learn sailing fundamentals in one-person, one-sail boats. We will also sail 5-6 person keel boats, where you will learn crew positions and be ready to sail with Duluth Yacht Club’s Wednesday night series. Also note: Students will need to pass a basic swimming test to continue in the class beyond day one. Students will need a swimming suit on the first day and will need a bicycle (Tom may be able to help you find one to borrow).
Warm up and stretch out! Then. . . .LaCrosse. Soccer. Kickball. Hiking. Inner Tube Water Polo. Geocaching. Ultimate Frisbee. Frisbee Golf. Rugby. Gymnastics. Dodgeball. Cool down, stretch out. . . Repeat! Get fit, get strong, have fun. Something new everyday!
Cooking for yourself and others is a skill that brings much satisfaction. Planning, preparing, and enjoying homemade meals and baked goods can help you:
Not only will we learn the basics of cooking and baking as well as the nutritional benefits of homemade food, but we will also discuss and learn to plan meals for special occasions (holidays, birthdays, celebrations), people with special dietary restrictions, and people on a budget. On most days, your lunch and snacks will be the meals and baked goods that we make. There is a $10 fee to cover the food expenses for this class. See Ms. Kivisto if this is a problem.
Are you interested in volunteering to help out in Duluth? In this class, we will do a variety of activities. These possibly include helping Habitat for Humanity, mulching, weeding, picking up trash, watering flowers, and maintaining trails. If weather prohibits this work, we will find indoor ways of being helpful. Come to class ready to work hard and enjoy the outdoors all day!
African Music Ensemble members will perform at schools, businesses, and parks on this six day tour of our community. Given the rigorous performance schedule of this course, students must be current Ensemble members or have already taken Groovin’ in Ghana to take this course.
Learn more about Hispanic culture through art. Discover art forms and artists through investigation and creation. Research various artists and/or art forms of choice and create various projects such as paper mache, glass mosaics, and Amate bark paintings.