Session Dates

Session one: June 10–14, 2019
Session two: June 17–21, 2019
Tuition: $800/session

Students will take one course per session and may enroll for one or both sessions. Courses will run weekdays from 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., and students will need to bring their own lunch.

With the exception of Debate Institute, which is co-ed, Beyond the Classroom courses are specifically geared toward girls.

Summer 2019 Course Descriptions

Debate Institute

Debate Institute

For girls and boys currently in fifth through eighth grade

Nightingale's debate program was founded with the belief that effective communication and argumentation are essential leadership skills. Public Forum debate, in particular, demands that students present and defend cases—with equal rigor—on both sides of contentious contemporary issues. In this way, students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to emotionally detach from the process of building an argument. This program is ideal for any student interested in developing and honing debate skills or simply seeking an intellectually challenging and fun activity outside the regular school year. Our instructors are passionate and committed to creating an engaging, intellectual, and collaborative environment that allows participants to have fun while developing a highly transferable skill set. No prior debate experience is necessary.

Program participants will develop the following essential skills:

  • logical argument structure and how to attack weaknesses in others' assertions

  • research skills, including the evaluation of source

  • public speaking—both prepared and extemporaneous

  • judge/audience assessment

  • collaboration—students learn to work with teammates to get cases written and must strategize and cooperate in real time during rounds

  • familiarity with evaluation standards such as cost-benefit analysis, utilitarianism, etc. that allow students to weigh the impacts of their arguments

  • comfort competing and receiving constructive criticism

  • knowledge of and comfort discussing current events

Instructors: Candi Deschamps and L.E. Hartmann

Candi Deschamps is a Middle and Upper School English teacher as well as the Middle School debate coach at Nightingale. Ms. Deschamps moved to Brooklyn upon graduating from Smith College, from which she received a BA in English Language and Literature. She spent five years working in an administrative capacity for various non-profit organizations, including the Hudson Review and Lincoln Center, before pursuing her MA in Teaching of English at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been on the faculty of Nightingale since 2012 and started its Middle School Public Debate program in 2013. She loves the many transferable skills that debate cultivates in students, from flowing and fact-finding to oration and rhetoric. She lives in Brooklyn with her growing family.

L.E. Hartmann is a member of Nightingale’s history faculty and coaches the Upper School debate team. Dr. Hartmann’s roots in the debate world run deep. During the 1980s, she competed on the national circuit as a varsity policy debater at the Bronx High School of Science. She earned her PhD in American history at Brown University and has been teaching at Nightingale since 1998. In 2008, Nightingale fielded its first public forum team. Since then, debaters from Nightingale have gone on to win trophies at national tournaments such as Harvard and Yale, to win the New York State Championships in the novice division, and to place second overall in the overall sweepstakes category in 2016. These successes are just small part of the debate culture at Nightingale, where all students are given equal opportunities to compete and grow.

The Art of the Screenplay (Session One Only)

The Art of the Screenplay

For girls currently in fifth through eighth grade

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a film written, directed, and produced in a day. This course will introduce students to that most collaborative of art forms: film. But before anyone excitedly sits down in a dark movie theater, there is nothing without the script. While learning the fundamentals of screenwriting and storytelling, students will also garner the leadership skills that film demands: delegating, collaborating, and planning. The week will culminate with a "table read" of the finished scripts, a hallmark of the Hollywood film process that will showcase all of the week's creative work. In this way, we will redefine the term "leading lady," as students learn that it is actually more powerful and impactful to be a "leading lady" off screen.

Instructor: Sherwyn Smith

A graduate of Connecticut College, Sherwyn Smith has been teaching for over 25 years, a period of time in which he has instructed everyone from fifth graders to college undergrads. For the past nine years, he has been a Middle and Upper School English teacher at Nightingale. Mr. Smith's screenwriting bonafides come from the two years he spent in Hollywood writing for Walt Disney Studios, and he is excited to work with this summer's young screenwriters.

Engineering and Design

Engineering and Design

For girls currently in fifth through eighth grade

Explore the design process and learn how to take an idea from rough prototype to completion in Engineering and Design. Throughout the week, you will have access to the diverse set of tools in the makerspace and will get the opportunity to delve deeper into their uses. This course will introduce you to physical computing concepts as we explore programmable microcontrollers and learn to incorporate those concepts into the final projects. Completing your final designs will also require you to learn digital fabrication technologies such as vector design for the laser cutter. Over several iterative cycles, we will refine our designs until each student has a final working product.

Instructor: Evin Watson

Evin Watson has a BFA in Film and Television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, which led to his early work in film production and credits on films such as "Fahrenheit 911" and "Coffee and Cigarettes." His experience in film and independent school education propelled him to enroll at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he received an MA in Instructional Technology and Media. It was there that he began designing lessons and projects built around digital fabrication and programming. Mr. Watson just completed his third school year at Nightingale, where he teaches programming and engineering/design to grades 8–12. He also coaches the Upper School robotics team and helps coordinate student teams for Hackathons and other tech-focused competitions. This is his second summer teaching Engineering and Design for Beyond the Classroom.

Fashion Technology and Design

Fashion Technology and Design

For girls currently in fifth through eighth grade

Fuse creativity with innovation as you explore the exciting world of wearable technology. In this course, you will delve into the four pillars of wearable tech: design, engineering, construction, and sustainability. Learning conceptual design and how to refine your ideas, you will gain hands-on experience with pattern drafting and construction, learn how to program with Lilypad Arduinos and Flora microcontrollers, and explore the fundamentals of electrical engineering, bio-fabrication, and prototyping. You will learn the actual techniques that are needed to be a fashion designer and then use your creativity to solve real-world dilemmas, working through iterative design cycles from concept to final prototype. For your capstone project, you will create a unique piece of wearable technology that improves the world around us.

Instructor: Clare Tattersall

Clare Tattersall founded ThunderLily, a group of artist engineers, in 2009 to prove that high tech and high fashion can make the world a better place. She co-created a software to align the design-to-sales process into a single virtual experience and was named one of Columbia University Tech Ventures' portfolio startups. She consults with designers to bring technology to their designs and has launched FashionTech.Design workshops for young designers to explore engineering and technology through learning fashion design and wearable tech. Ms. Tattersall graduated from DeMontfort University in the UK and has worked as a designer in London, Tokyo, and New York.

Improv in the Black Box (Session Two Only)

Improv in the Black Box

For girls currently in fifth through eighth grade

If you love theater and sketch comedy or are looking to become more comfortable in those areas, then this is the course for you! Join experts who will guide you in the art of thinking on the spot, reacting in the moment, and bending reality in ways you never thought possible. Through theater exercises and fun and collaborative games, students will build their leadership skills and confidence by stepping out of their comfort zone, finding their voice, and fine tuning their stage presence through a host of different characters and situations. The week will end with a performance for friends and family.

Instructors: Faculty from People's Improv Theater

The People's Improv Theater is dedicated to the instruction, performance, and development of original comedy. The PIT strives to entertain and educate the community about the comedic arts in a safe and nurturing environment. The PIT is composed of three elements: a school that focuses on the craft of improvisation, an eclectic variety of electives, and an unparalleled professional writing program; a theater that presents original comedic shows seven nights a week; and a corporate and educational workshop program that offers team building, leadership, and business training.

About the Directors

Jamie Borowicz is the Middle School technology integrator and a computer science teacher at Nightingale. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. Ms. Borowicz taught in Virginia for eight years before coming to Nightingale. In her free time, she likes to read, explore Central Park, and spend time with her husband and two dogs. She is very excited to be a co-director of Beyond the Classroom this summer.

Hannah Hens-Piazza is a member of the Middle and Upper School music faculty at Nightingale. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music performance from NYU. Prior to coming to Nightingale, Ms. Hens-Piazza taught at the Diller-Quaile School of Music, the Dwight School, and Children's Day School (San Francisco, CA). Outside the blue doors, Ms. Hens-Piazza maintains a freelance career as a musician, and she spends her free time writing songs, doing yoga, knitting, and exploring Brooklyn. She is thrilled to be part of Beyond the Classroom for the second year.