Winterim 2021
Week One Recap

Winterim 2021 kicked off with more class offerings than ever before. First adopted in 1991 when the January term was gaining popularity at the collegiate level, Winterim shows our enduring commitment to innovation in the classroom. During this term, students have opportunities to deep dive into specialized topics and skills. Additionally, over one hundred and fifty of our students have chosen to intern with businesses and ministries where they will gain valuable career insights.

As we look back on the first week of Winterim 2021, we are highlighting just a few of the innovative learning opportunities that are taking place in our classrooms this year.

Chemistry of Creativity

Students in Chemistry of Creativity are learning about the science behind different art forms. In the project below, students discussed gravity and acceleration before using a pendulum to create a painting.

Students create a painting using a pendulum during Winterim at Wheaton Academy, a private Christian high school

In another project, students studied the chemical reactions involved in making plaster of paris before creating their own frescoes.

Stage Combat

In Stage Combat, student-actors are learning safe ways to do things that look dangerous on stage. This week, students practiced non-contact movements and responses that create the illusion of impact. Jerilyn Blackmon ’21 shares, “We’re learning to fake fight with one another so that, from the audience’s perspective, it seems real.”

Students learn stage combat during Wheaton Academy Winterim class

In the sequence above, the respondent signals readiness to the aggressor. The aggressor then extends an arm as if to slap the respondent. The respondent simultaneously claps his own hands while jerking backward to create the illusion of impact.

Gainz and Glory

During this week’s viking challenge in Gainz and Glory, students trained using a steel mace and battle ropes. Coach Swider shares, “In this class, we are focused on expanding range of motion, mobility, and flexibility. In the weight room we can isolate muscles and work them individually, but here we’re doing a lot of full body work—including working those auxiliary muscles that help with stability.” Students taking this class come prepared to sweat it out in intensive workouts designed to increase athletic performance.

Students train in Gainz and Glory during Winterim at Wheaton Academy, a private Christian high shcool

The Russian Messenger, 1866

In a class on Russian literature, students gather to drink samovar tea while reading two classic novels: War and Peace and Crime and Punishment. Students who took this class love literature and philosophy. They’re discussing major life questions like: do we have free will, can we rise above our circumstances, and how does tragedy change us?

One student has an even more personal reason for taking the class. Meder Zhumagulov ’21, an international student, shares, “I speak Russian and I grew up in a country heavily influenced by Russia, so it is nice to have a chance to do something that connects back with my Russian side.”

Student reads Dostoevsky during winterim class at Wheaton Academy, a private Christian school

Instrumental Winterim

In an instrumental class, dedicated student-musicians are preparing for a concert. These students are practicing a wide range of repertoire, including themes from Star Wars and Hamilton as well as classics by Mozart. One senior, Val Terdina, is even gaining experience as a conductor.

Mr. Willemssen reflects, “In this class, three hours go by like nothing at all. The students who take this class really want to be here. They are ready to dive in no matter what kind of music we play.”

Students play in an ensemble during Winterim
Val directs ensemble during Winterim

For over twenty years, students have enjoyed unique and intensive hands-on learning during Winterim. Stay tuned next week to hear about more classroom experiences and hear from our interns.

To learn more about previous Winterim opportunities, explore last year’s Winterim recap booklet.