Edgewood University Six Weeks of study and fun

Students and teachers at Edgewood School are enjoying their Fridays right now, diving into topics and skills they might not have time for during the rest of the school year: film studies, knitting, aerodynamics, ceramics, boot camp fitness, rocketry, debate, robotics and modern dance, to name a few.

The six-week Edgewood University, the brainstorm of Principal Scott Houseknecht, takes students and teachers on a break from the regular curriculum and the stress of testing and homework assignments. For one day each of the six weeks, students get to dive into something different and more hands-on, pursuing an interest or a hobby that is usually relegated to “extracurricular” or “after school” time.

A film festival, karaoke, robotics, and the Edgewood News are just a few highlights from Edgewood University

The 22 classes being offered include a wide range of topics, such as STEM Activity Challenge, Scratch, Paper Arts, History of Baseball and Cooking, and are being embraced with excitement by students and teachers alike, who spend their Friday afternoons indulging in these interests. Students in the Edgewood News class are visiting the other classrooms, interviewing their friends and producing news stories and clips about Edgewood University. Students in the knitting class are making patches that will be sewn together into a larger throw, which will later be raffled off to support a cause of the students' choosing.

Launching alongside the university is the Edgewood Film Festival, which features clips from about a dozen Depression-era movies. On Friday mornings, students and teachers watch and discuss films like Charlie Chaplin’s "City Lights," made in 1931, to understand the misfortunes of Americans during the Depression, or Shirley Temple’s “Bright Eyes," which gave Depression-era Americans a cheerful escape from reality. Other film genres being studied include the Marx Brothers, Frank Capra films including “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and early Disney films.

Dr. Houseknecht explained that he surveyed students and teachers at the beginning of the school year, and assembled the most popular topics into the Edgewood University curriculum.

“We can teach each other interesting things beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Houseknecht, whose teachers were enthusiastic about reprising Edgewood University.

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