Vermont High School Seminars

Choose Your Seminar

Any off-campus components of the seminars described below are subject to revision as we follow State of Vermont and CDC recommendations regarding social distancing and interactions outside the campus community.

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Arts & Language Business & Int’l RelationsActivism & LeadershipMediaScience

Architecture, Design, & Sustainability

Design expresses ideas in spatial, material, and cultural terms, drawing inspiration from diverse sources—a functional need, the structure of a leaf, a philosophical text. From architecture and urban planning to user-centric technologies, design can also be structured with sustainability in mind, forming interconnected systems that benefit both communities and the planet. In this seminar, explore how we interact with space through hands-on exercises paired with critique sessions, small-scale construction projects, guest designers, and dynamic collaborations with other seminars. Read more

Creative Writing

Whether you want to write your first novel or create a poem that captures a specific emotion or experience, this dynamic workshop-style course is a step toward finding your voice and pushing your boundaries as a creative writer. Through personalized exercises led by published authors, develop skills in the genre of your choosing while exploring important craft challenges such as dialogue, imagery, narrative structure, word choice, theme, and storytelling technique. Read more

Farm to Table

10—15 SERVICE HOURS
From the farms, fields, and gardens of Vermont to the dinner table, culinary traditions and local food are the beating heart of Vermont’s identity. Dive into Vermont’s thriving food and farm culture, meeting with inspiring individuals and entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to the land. Expand your understanding of sustainable food systems and how they differ from conventional large-scale agriculture as you sow, harvest, cook, and savor your way through Vermont’s food scene. Read more

Fashion Design

Trace the history of the multi-billion dollar global fashion industry as we know it today. Gain an understanding of the environmental and consumer trade-offs of the fashion industry, one of the largest polluters in the world, and the movement toward sustainable production. Engage in discussions with designers, retailers, and textile manufacturers working in the U.S. and abroad. Participate in hands-on workshops to learn many of the skills and techniques needed to design and create your own ready-to-wear clothing line. Read more

Photography

Designed for photographers of all skill levels, this seminar teaches the basics of digital photography and composition before diving into more advanced shooting techniques and editing instruction. Whether your passion is portrait, landscape, adventure, or storytelling, build your confidence and nurture your creativity through one-on-one workshops with your instructor and group critiques. In the classroom, learn aesthetic principles and review the work of a variety of photographers, from Dorothea Lange to Krista Rossow. Read more

Business & Entrepreneurship

What makes a business succeed in today’s market and what are the steps between identifying a need and opening your doors? In recent years, larger-than-life characters like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk have dominated headlines and raised questions about leadership, charisma, and risk-taking, all while cornering their market. This hands-on course begins by examining the economic players and the playing field where firms operate, with discussions of supply and demand, regulations and free trade, international trade, and currency flows. Read more

Conflict Studies

To understand any deep-seated conflict, it is essential to delve into perspectives on all sides to grasp the origins and complications of what is often both political and personal. In this eye-opening and interactive seminar, begin with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has ignited impassioned debate for more than a century. Explore the nuances and impacts of this long-standing struggle, aiming for a balanced understanding of the historical events and contexts that have contributed to the current conflict. Read more

Diplomacy & International Relations

The global community faces many challenges: countries are witnessing resurgences of right wing nationalism, contending with the effects of climate change, trying to steady the global economy, waging wars and quelling unrest, and much more. How can countries and nations work together to address these issues, while also prioritizing and pursuing their own national interests? In this highly interactive and collaborative seminar, work with a group of your peers as a diplomatic team representing a country and take on the complex task of solving global problems. Read more

Political Science, Elections, & the Democratic Process

American politics has always been messy and complex, but our contemporary moment seems to be particularly so. What are the effects of polarization on our democratic process? How do Americans think about politics, and what role does identity play in political and electoral choices? How do our political institutions respond to the demands of increasingly diverse constituencies, with divergent views on issues like health care, climate change, and gun rights? Read more

Sports Management

The ever-growing sports industry provides it all: entertainment for thousands, economic benefits, the thrill of competition, healing opportunities for citizens and communities in crisis, and marketing opportunities that stimulate economies near and far, to name just a few. In this seminar, explore the varied opportunities that sports management provides—including team and athlete management, sports marketing, or sponsorship management—while developing an understanding of the business that takes place on and off the field. Read more

Social Justice & Policy for Change

Go beyond the headlines as you dig deeper into complex stories of and struggles against systemic injustice and inequality. Through discussions, debates, group work, readings, and guest speakers, develop an understanding of the origins of ongoing issues in social justice—from unequal access to health care and education to mass incarceration and barriers to social mobility—and the initiatives put in place to address them. Explore the history and significance of social justice movements— Read more

Film Production & Studies

From major theater releases and streaming platforms to YouTube and TikTok, more video is being produced and consumed than ever before. Dive into the craft of video production and filmmaking in this production-oriented seminar to explore the medium’s potential for creative expression and visceral impact. Practice storyboard development, camera operation, sound recording, lighting, direction, and non-linear editing. Just as importantly, learn how to work as a team, translating ideas to visual reality as you collaborate on a series of video projects with your peers. Read more

Journalism

The skills of journalism help you understand and explain any topic by honing your perspective and analytical eye. In this skills-based seminar, begin with an introduction to the principles and practices of journalism and digital media through a simulated daily “newsroom.” Analyze writing styles with your team and expand your familiarity with the daily news circuit. With the guidance of working journalists, engage in dynamic assignments that cover topics such as how to find story ideas and how effectively pitch those ideas. Read more

Climate Change

While the scientific consensus around climate change is clear, polarized media outlets and misinformation have complicated the process of coming to a shared public understanding of the facts. How do mainstream and alternative news outlets narrate stories of climate change differently? Consider and explore the challenges in communicating complex scientific information to the general public as you deepen your own understanding of climate change. Read more

Forensic Science

From CSI to Dexter, Sherlock Holmes to Bones, forensic science is portrayed in popular culture as a nearly magical tool in modern-day crime investigations. But is a drop of blood or a single strand of hair really the same as a smoking gun? In this seminar, look critically at case studies from around the world and learn how forensic evidence can be used in securing criminal convictions. In the lab, learn the science behind crime-solving tools such as blood splatter analysis, fingerprinting, and bone identification. Read more

Pre-Med & Biomedical Ethics

If you think a future in health professions might be your calling, this introductory, lab-based course covers key concepts and principles in biology and examines broader ethical questions about practicing medicine. From the molecular level, learning how genes and proteins function in cells, to population-level discussions about mutations, diseases, and evolution, explore the interconnections of living systems and the role medical science plays in unraveling the mysteries of life. Read more

Psychology

The principles of psychology permeate our lives every day, often in ways we don’t realize. How do we decide what to do? How much of who you are is determined by your family, your gender identity, or your friends? Understanding human cognition, emotions, and behavior allows psychologists to better predict how we may behave in specific situations, why we think the way we do, and how emotions impact our interactions with our world. Read more

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Program Overview

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Middle School Seminars

View Pre-College Vermont seminars for middle school students.

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