This past week, students at Ben Bronz Academy explored the theme of “Healthy Living: Mind, Body, and Spirit” as part of their biennial week-long intensive research project.
Students at Ben Bronz Academy are given a toolbox of skills to help with planning, problem-solving, communication and self-advocacy. Twice a year, students stop all regular academic classes for a week to focus on a research project. This event is called Research Week and it is a chance for the students to apply all the skills they have learned towards an intensive, real-life research project.
When I first suggested this research week idea, the faculty responded with a unanimous “yes, we all need this so much!” Life is so stressful and we are all so busy. We rarely take time to do things to enrich ourselves, to find peaceful moments, to stop and just experience life in real time, without the filter of a screen. The theme was an easy one for the faculty to get behind. We are excellent at focusing on academics at BBA, and we hit that aspect of student development with a rigorous, intense curriculum. With this research week, we wanted to change our focus a bit. This week was all about having our students try new experiences and hopefully gain a new perspective on life and themselves as fully developed people.
– Michelle Turek, Ben Bronz Academy Mediator
With the theme of healthy living, the students were taught to make mindful choices to enhance their lives and health in all areas. Lessons that focused on nutrition culminated in students working in teams to prepare simple fruit and vegetable snacks. Students were able to enjoy their creations for snack. The school nursing staff worked with the younger students in the building to learn about self-care and hygiene. The older students, in the Upper School, learned about current health issues, like the dangers of vaping. Last Thursday, Scott Driscoll, former law enforcement officer and current owner/presenter for Internet Safety Concepts, spoke to students about protecting themselves online when using social media and other technology.
Everything I learned will help in life later on.
– Lucas Aguilar, High School Grade 10
In addition to activities within the school building, students participated in three field trips throughout the week. Grades 4–7 traveled to Brooksvale Park in Hamden to attend a mindfulness workshop prepared by Chaucey Perreault-Radcliffe or Yoga4change of CT. Students went on a hike, attended a full yoga session and practiced mindfulness. The students in Grades 8–12 worked with certified personal trainers at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness in Newington, CT. Students sampled small group circuit training and group spinning classes. They worked on cardio and strength training activities. An intense game of dodgeball provided a great workout. The entire school, Grades 2-12 traveled to Boda Borg in Boston. At Boda Borg, students were challenged to complete real-world gaming “quests” in teams of 3-5. These “quests” required students to complete a variety of mental and physical challenges. In order to be successful, students required resiliency and strategy in their approaches and learning.
One of the best things I discovered is that I am stronger than I thought.
– Alyssa Esposito, High School Senior