Town and Country: All Divisions Branch Out on Field Trips

The Agnes Irwin School visited town and country this fall as field trips returned across all three divisions. As part of the year-long AIS Lower School Living Leadership capstone project, the 4th grade headed to Elmwood Park Zoo where they went out on the edge, scaling a ropes course and zip-lining through the trees. Bella A. ‘30 shared, “The course was pretty challenging so it made us use teamwork to move through to the end.”  Erin V. ‘30 added, "Everyone would cheer each other on to finish!” The girls talked about what it was like to face new challenges together, with resilience and kindness. 

The 7th grade celebrated a joyous milestone — their very first trip as middle schoolers. “The girls finally had an opportunity to bond as a class off campus after the pause on field trips,” said 7th and 8th grade Dean Corey Willingham. At the Outdoor School, students completed trust and team-building activities, balanced across a low ropes course, and tackled a climbing wall. They heard from a teacher-naturalist about organic farming and the power of soil. “The girls picked carrots, kale, and spinach from the garden and were able to take them home,” added Willingham.

Our 8th graders have been on the move! As part of their fall U.S. History curriculum, they toured the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Willingham shared that a highlight of the trip was seeing a tent that was actually used by George Washington. Back at campus, the girls conducted a simulation of a constitutional convention by assuming the perspective of a social group that was not represented at the Constitutional Convention in order to practice advocating for various perspectives.

A few weeks later, 8th grade hit the road again. This time, they were off to Washington, D.C. for a day of exploration and teamwork. They navigated the city during a four-hour scavenger hunt where they made stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, among other landmarks. They also solved fun trivia about Washington, D.C. An Agnes Irwin 8th grader will be able to recite the names of all of the Smithsonian museums and inform you how many steps it takes to reach to the top of the Washington Monument. 

The 9th grade class started the school year with the annual team-building overnight retreat in the Pocono Mountains. Students took flight on zip lines, sang karaoke, and paddled on a scenic lake. The 10th graders did this same retreat to make up for their missed opportunity in 2020.

“The design of this annual retreat is to start the school year with some good, old-fashioned community-building in the great outdoors,” says US Dean Sarah Leonard. “The girls love this getaway.”

In December, sixteen seniors in the History of Women’s Protests class visited the Bryn Mawr Film Institute for a screening of “Suffragette,” a British historical drama about women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom as part of their unit focused on comparing and contrasting ways that women in the U.K. and the United States fought for the right to vote. Another group of seniors in the Anthropology elective, which is new to the AIS course catalog this year, observed primates such as lemurs, monkeys, and orangutans at the Philadelphia Zoo as part of their study of human evolution. Teacher Patrick Beasom noted, “Anthropology class is a great way for students to broaden their perspectives of science beyond physics and chemistry.”

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