Springboard is a capstone course for members of Mercersburg’s senior class. Though each Springboard is quite different in terms of subject material, the goals of each Springboard are the same: to delve deeply into a topic, ask questions and generate knowledge, and create a polished presentation that will be evaluated by a panel of experts. Springboard engages students through field trips, talks with experts, and a wide range of activities and skill development. Based on the principles of Challenge Based Learning, the program encourages students to think critically and identify problems to solve, challenges to face, or projects to develop. Further, not only is this a great opportunity for students to connect with alumni, but it can also be an enriching experience for our volunteers.

Questions regarding the program can be directed to John David Bennett (bennettj@mercersburg.edu).

Springboard options for 2017—2018:

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  • Business of Sport

    Athletics Director Rick Hendrickson and science teacher Nikki Walker bring the possibilities of sports management to Mercersburg as students learn about this growing field. Students will engage with local sports entities as well as Mercersburg’s ever-growing professional sports network.
  • COMMARTS: The Art and Business of Graphic Design

    Arts faculty member Kristen Pixler helps students learn and master skills in design of 2-D and interactive media as well as the business aspects of working as a commercial artist.
  • Entrepreneurship

    Economics and history teacher Nate Jacklin ’96 and English teacher Todd McGuire lead students through the process of making a business plan. Students must pitch their finished business plans to a panel of local business experts.
  • Global Food Chain

    Science teacher Renee Hicks uses food to understand the local and global issues. Through local field experiences and talks with experts, students gain a deep appreciation for their food and its connection to modern life. Students identify a food challenge and work to solve it locally.

Previous Offerings

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  • 3D Computer Graphics

    Team taught by Dr. Amy Kelley and Director of Outdoor Education Pete Gunkelman, this course challenges students to see their world differently through the intersection of math and 3-D modeling. Students create objects using Maya, a CG industry software enabling exploration of special effects, animation, and 3-D printing.
  • Education Across Borders

    English teacher Katherine Dyson explores the issue of education through her work with SOLA in Kabul, Afghanistan, and local educational connections right here in Mercersburg. Students navigate how and why borders develop in access to education, with the challenge, ultimately, to develop a response to an existing barrier.

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  • Maker’s Lab

    Physics teacher Dave Holzwarth ’78 brings the Maker Movement to Mercersburg, as he guides students through the innovative process of turning an idea in the mind into a reality made by the hands. Students will make a product of their own design according to a challenge or a need that they identify.
  • Parallel Histories

    Faculty member Doug Smith will help students explore the Mercersburg Academy archives in an effort to uncover, explore, and tell the stories that risk being forgotten.
  • Performance as a Creative Collaboration

    Director of Theatre Laurie Mufson inspires students to explore modern theatre techniques and then create their own theatrical production. Students are involved with every step of the production process, from writing the script and lighting to casting and directing.
  • Positive Psychology

    Faculty member Brett Potash will introduce students to the basic tenets of positive psychology through readings, activities, and application to students’ lives. After engaging in significant self-reflection on their own strengths, students will ultimately be involved in creating something—whether at the personal, institutional, or social level—that draws on those strengths to make their lives fuller and more meaningful.
  • Rapid Application Development

    Mathematics and robotics teacher Dr. Marcus Jaiclin will challenge students to write programs or create mobile apps that solve problems right here on campus. Students will learn by doing as they master programming languages and identify real obstacles on campus and beyond.
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236