Seniors Give Springtalk Presentations

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Students work in Maker's Lab during the fall 2019 term. 

Over a two-week period, 55 Mercersburg Academy seniors presented the results of their capstone work from the Springboard classes offered during the fall term. Courses included Mercersburg History (John David Bennett, dean of curricular Innovation and director of springboard), Write Your Novel (Leela Woody, English faculty), Open Topic (Will Willis, science faculty), Commarts (Kristen Pixler, arts faculty), and Maker’s Lab (science faculty members Andy Brown and Franklin Bell).

Presentations ran through January 28, and were shown virtually and followed by a time of online Q&A for peers and mentors to interact with the presenters. 

View the list of the Springboard presentations and watch completed presentations. 

“For Mercersburg History, there is some really strong work this year,” Bennett said. Highlights from the course include “A Legacy of Honor: Mercersburg’s Medal of Honor Recipients” by Jack Mowery ’21 and Guil Ware ’21; “Mercersburg Alumni and Social Justice,” a surprising look at six alumni who are involved in social justice work by Isabel Lewis ’21 and Kate Prentiss ’21; and “1983 Mercersburg Arctic Expedition,” an up-close perspective by Anika Willander ’21, whose grandfather (faculty emeritus Tim Rockwell) led the expedition. 

Willis said that the fall 2020 all-virtual Open Topic Springboard class pursued projects as fascinating and varied as the students themselves.

"They provided regular and productive feedback to one another, and did an amazing job of keeping us all connected to the Mercersburg experience, even though they were virtual for the entire term," Willis said. "I was impressed by just how much they could pull off in a single term with autonomy driven by their inner curiosity and hard work."

All seniors are enrolled in one of the school’s two capstone experiences—MAPS or Springboard—and successful completion of one of these two experiences is a requirement for graduation.

During the winter term, six Springboard courses are being offered, including  Application Design (Andy Brown), Commarts (Kristin Pixler), The Fight Against Disease (Eric Hicks), Food for Thought (Michele Poacelli and Maggie Howes), Open Topic (Rick Hendrickson), and Positive Psychology (Brett Potash).