Virtual Programs | Summer Portals 2021

Big Business on Trial: From Standard Oil to Amazon

Cost: $1150
Age range: Rising 8th Graders and Older  
Dates:
Session 1 - June 28 - July 9, 9 a.m. EST
Session 2 - July 12 - July 23, 8 p.m. EST 

Big Business will examine a series of primary sources about the rise of big businesses during the Gilded Age, looking at business titans such as John D. Rockefeller. Students will also draw connections between the Gilded Age and our modern era monopolies, specifically Amazon. Students will take an in-depth look at Amazon’s business practices, and the course culminates in a multi day-trial during which students will act as lawyers either supporting or prosecuting one of the most successful monopolies in the world. Students will examine whether convenience for the consumer is worth the unseen costs that “big business” practices can have on our lives. This course is ideal preparation for the discussion-based classrooms and research oriented projects common in independent school humanities programs.

Faculty


Studio Art - Painting the Observed World

Cost: $750
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Dates: July 12 - July 16, 7 p.m.

This one-week intensive workshop explores the development of light, space, color and form through the genre of still life. Starting with small quick studies and limited palettes, students will build up to longer one-day paintings. Composition, color and other formal issues will be explored through daily painting exercises and a study of great artists throughout history. Emphasis will be placed on initial sketches and compositional studies before painting. Daily critiques as well as one-on-one instruction will be conducted.  Prior drawing experience is preferred. Students can expect to build their college/ independent school portfolios with the work created in this class. This workshop will be conducted in oil, however, acrylic or gouache is fine too. Students will be required to provide their own materials for the course, and a list of those materials will be provided by early spring well in advance of the course start date. 

Faculty


Piano

Cost: $900
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Dates: July 12 - July 23
Synchronous meeting times: TBD to accommodate time zone differences

The Piano Program is a two-week course that offers young pianists an opportunity to work with world-class pianists who are also accomplished teachers. Through one-on-one lessons, group masterclasses, and lectures, students will refine their technique, expand their musical repertoire, and discuss common questions facing young pianists who want to take their craft to the next level: the best repertoire for an audition or competition, healthy practice routines, and building a portfolio for colleges and conservatories.
In addition to virtual concert performances by faculty and guest artists, students will be able to share their performances in virtual concerts held throughout the program.

Piano Program applicants are required to submit their application in two parts: 
1. Submit a file (audio or video) using SlideRoom. Submit the required information here.
2. Fill out the application form for the Hotchkiss Piano Portals Program. 

Instructors: Fabio Witkowski, Gisele Nacif Witkowski, Leonel Morales, John Perry, Mina Perry
 

Faculty


Writers and Writing

Cost: $1150
Age: Rising 9th graders and older (younger students with permission)
Session 1: June 28 - July 9, 9 a.m. EST
Session 2: July 12 - July 23, 8 p.m. EST 


This Portal will focus on writing that students may do both for school and on their own.  Through close reading of non-fiction and short fiction, as well as daily freewriting, discussions, and revision work, we will consider writing as a series of decisions and choices that follows inspiration. Creative non-fiction and short critical prose will comprise the written work.  We will work at dispelling some of the mystery of the writing process, and we will go about this work with the seriousness of children at play. This course is ideal preparation for the writing and discussion-based exploration of literature that comprises much of the humanities work at independent schools. 
 
All reading materials will be available online through our Canvas learning management system. Students will need a physical notebook, but the majority of the writing will be done through shared virtual documents. 

Faculty


Structural Engineering - Race Car Design

Cost: $1300
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 

Session 1: June 28 - July 9, 8 p.m. EST
Session 2: July 12 - July 23, 9 a.m. EST 

Race car design introduces students to the fundamentals of engineering design and simulation by developing a model of a race car.  Students will learn how to create models in Onshape, a web-based CAD software.  Once basic modeling skills are mastered, students will design an aerodynamic body shape that will be the basis of the overall vehicle design. Individual components used in the powertrain, steering, and suspension will then be added to the model.  After component placement has been determined, students will design a frame to connect the components together. The frame design will be put through a series of structural simulations to make sure it is strong enough to support the forces in the race car and to endure a high-speed crash.  Aerodynamic simulation will also be introduced to determine the drag coefficient of the body shape. 3D printed models of the race cars will be sent to the students upon completion of the course, or students may 3D print their own models if they have access to the necessary printers. No previous computer modeling or race car driving experience is necessary to take this class. 

Faculty


ITI Leadership 

Cost: $1150
Age: Rising 9th Graders and Older 

Dates: June 28 - July 9, 12 p.m. EST
 
The ITI (innovate, transform, inspire) Student Leadership Institute is designed to develop student leaders who can design creative solutions to complex problems, strengthen their communities, build effective teams, and positively influence those around them. Supported by insightful, experienced faculty, you will explore your own leadership style, examine different leadership strategies, and practice applying them in real-world situations. Our signature approach to leadership education involves three interrelated themes: knowing self, inspiring others, and transforming communities.

  • Knowing Self: Students will have many chances to examine their own strengths, challenges, passions, and concerns. 
  • Inspiring Others: We will use the power of stories and examine the successes and failures of leaders, past and present. 
  • Transforming Communities: Working together in teams, students will apply design-thinking in leadership to create solutions to problems facing local, national, and international communities.

As culminating experiences, students will create a leadership plan for your home school that draws on the skills and strategies learned through ITI. You will also share a signature leadership story (2-3 minutes) with the rest of the group.


Theatre

Cost: $1150
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Dates: July 28 - July 9, 8 p.m. EST

"It was only in the theatre that I lived.” So says one of Oscar Wilde’s characters as she reflects upon the thrill of the stage. The Hotchkiss Theatre Portal seeks to cultivate theatrical skills that will prove equally valuable in life, namely personal discipline, awareness, and creativity. Through various exercises, discussions, reflective writing, and multiple performances, students will analyze what makes effective storytelling and practice methods of achieving it. Script analysis and dramatic critique will inform dynamic vocal and movement choices, starting with a monologue and culminating in a short play or scene. This Portal will focus on diligence and resilience rather than “talent”, with particular emphasis on personal accountability and the strength of an ensemble.

Faculty


DNA Science

Cost: $1300
Age: Rising 8th Graders and Older 
Session 1: June 28 - July 9, 12 p.m. EST
Session 2: July 12 - July 23, 9 a.m. EST 


The DNA Science program will introduce students to DNA structure and function, the process of transcribing and translating genetic code into protein, and the study of the human genome. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the basic tools of molecular biology, including gel electrophoresis, restriction enzymes, PCR and genetic transformation. Digital simulations will be used to practice basic experimental techniques, and students will purchase a “DIY” molecular laboratory kit that will allow them to complete DNA-based experiments at home. The biology behind current topics such as CRISPR technology and molecular vaccine development will also be discussed. The course culminates in the extraction of student cheek cell DNA and the forwarding of the DNA sample to Hotchkiss for sequencing. Participants will then analyze their DNA sequences for polymorphisms that contribute to lactose tolerance or intolerance (and the ability to enjoy ice cream!). Information for the purchase of the at home laboratory kit will be provided closer to the course start date. 

Faculty


Software Enginering

Cost: $1150
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Session 1 - June 28 - July 9, 9 a.m. EST
Session 2 - July 12 - July 23, 8 p.m. EST 

The Software Engineering Program will introduce students to the world of software development through the creation of mobile apps. Students will learn the Swift language, currently the standard for creating programs for iPhones and iPads. Students will understand how to use Xcode to create a visual design layout and to capture events that ensure the function of their app. In addition to programming several pre-designed apps, students will learn the fundamentals of software engineering, including design, prototyping, and project planning. The culminating experience will be for each student to create an original app of his or her own design. The course follows a project-based curriculum that provides extensions for each project for those students who progress quickly as well as scaffolded checkpoints for each project for those students who are less familiar with app creation. It is ideal for students with at least some prior programming experience, but newcomers are also welcome. 

Students must have a working Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, Mac Mini, or iMac running MacOS Catalina (10.15) or higher with the latest version of Xcode installed from the App Store.

Faculty


Speech and Debate

Cost: $1150
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Dates: July 12 - July 23, 8 p.m. EST

Additional synchronous sessions: TBD by time zone (typically evening EST)

The Hotchkiss speech and debate summer portal will provide an opportunity for students to learn about various speech and debate events, explore important aspects of rhetoric and public speaking, and practice with coaches and experienced debaters. This program will include direct instruction with coaches, online readings and lectures, and live debating sessions with students from around the world.
 
Students will practice the speech and debate events used in the Worlds Independent Debating and Public Speaking Championships and the Debate Association of New England Independent Schools: Parliamentary Debate, Impromptu Speaking, and Prepared Speaking (After Dinner and Persuasive). In addition to work on these specific events, students will learn about classical rhetoric through readings from Cicero and Aristotle. They will watch videos of famous lectures and examine what makes these speakers effective.
 
In small group sessions, students will build cases, compose speeches and participate in debates, under the guidance of experienced coaches and debaters. All students will compose a speech (After Dinner or Persuasive). Students can expect to complete this program ready to participate in parliamentary debating tournaments and have speeches ready for public speaking tournaments this fall. The skills in case building, refutation, logic, and delivery will help students to be effective debaters in any debate setting.

Faculty


Advanced Speech and Debate

Cost: $750
Age: Rising 7th Graders and Older 
Dates: July 26 - July 30, 8 p.m. EST

Additional synchronous sessions: TBD by time zone (typically evening EST)

Prerequisites: completion of the introductory Speech and Debate Portal or 
demonstrated debating achievement
 

The Advanced course builds on the introductory speech and debate program, and students may enroll for the advanced session immediately following the 2-week introductory session. Experienced debaters may enroll in the advanced program as a stand alone course. 

The focus of this course will be advanced parliamentary debating in preparation for competitive secondary school debate tournaments. 

Faculty


Photography

More Information Coming Soon.