Here’s what we did at the 2016 Winter Weekends:


Are you full of ideas, inventions, and solutions?  Do you want to know what it takes to turn those ideas into reality, change the world with your ideas, or become a successful Entrepreneur?  Find out at GIV’s Entrepreneurship strand at Winter Weekend! Learn to analyze ideas for success, identify the strengths that will ignite your entrepreneurial potential, and practice skills that every business owner needs with budding entrepreneurs (and new friends!) from all over the state.


The teenagers of Vermont have soulful voices waiting to be unleashed and we’re going to prove it! This class is about singing in a gospel music-styled choir. Soul singing is an art and it requires a personal investment. We’ll focus on the inspirational power of our individual voices and the power of singing together. Where does  gospel music come from? How is it that gospel singers sing so loud? And why can gospel music make you want to run 20 marathons, cry, and then change the world? Everyone has a voice… share yours and see what you can receive in return.


It’s spy vs. spy at this intensive computer workshop with Champlain College Professor Duane Dunston. We’ll be working hands-on with simple but powerful technology tools to explore vulnerabilities and engineer solutions to the vast world of cyber crime. Whether you have minimal or extensive programming experience, you’ll learn a ton.


How can young people’s leadership and empowerment overcome oppression, injustice, environmental and social crises, and international conflicts?  With other concerned teens from throughout Vermont, you’ll learn how to analyze and create strategies for addressing global, national, and local issues.  We’ll especially look at avenues where young people can have immediate impact, such as political organizing, using arts for social justice, and building strategic alliances and student activist networks.


Blue Man Group actor (and GIV graduate) Isaac Eddy leads a comedy and theater workshop.  Whether you have a lot of acting experience or are just starting out, you’ll hone your timing, character development, and vocal and physical chops in a supercharged – and super-fun – dramatic ensemble. Don’t be shy – this is the perfect time to improve your acting and get creative in a friendly, encouraging setting.


If you’re a girl who can’t get enough math, this is the place for you!   Come check out completely fascinating things you can do with advanced math, learn what a future in math might look like, and meet other math fans from around the state.


The election year has brought to the forefront many important issues our nation faces, as well as a multitude of points of view and communication styles.  Bring your own interest areas to this Winter Weekend session to discuss your own and others’ views, develop your ability to think critically and communicate persuasively, and add a whole range of new communication and changemaking skills to your quiver.


Considering a future in the biomedical field?  Join Norwich Professor Karen Hinkle for a case-driven, hands-on investigation of cell biology and genetics. Students will isolate human DNA and amplify regions of the genome using techniques routinely used to detect mutations in patients in the clinic. They’ll get hands-on with techniques used in biomedical research investigation including agarose gel electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequence analysis, and micropipetting and gain a strong understanding of how biotechnology is shaping the way we understand our own genes and how that information is leading to significant breakthroughs in medicine. (Full – please select another topic.)


Do you have a story you’d like to write?  Or would you like to discover a story inside you to write? Join author Ken Harvey (If You Were With Me Everything Would Be All Right, A Passionate Engagement) for this fun and inspiring workshop designed to help you create fiction. Through engaging writing activities, lively discussions and respectful criticism, you’ll learn about character, dialogue, plot, setting, and mood.  Whether you’ve been writing fiction for a while or are just starting out, you’ll be part of a welcoming and supportive group where you can hone your craft.


We’re partnering with the Northern Skies Observatory to bring you the Governor’s Institute on AstroPhotography!  AstroPhotography, the capture and manipulation of cosmic images for use in science and art, is a unique blend of graphic design, math, science, information technology and art.  We’ll use professional-grade equipment to scan and help solve some of the sky’s greatest mysteries. Past AstroPhotography students had their work featured in National Geographic!