GIV Winter Weekends


February 9, 2018 – February 11, 2018

February 23, 2018 – February 25, 2018

Goddard College

Plainfield, Vermont


Winter Weekends are two-day intensive learning experiences for Vermont 9th-12th graders. You’ll live on a college campus all weekend and explore a topic you’re interested in in-depth with professional mentors and new friends who love the same things you do. Winter Weekends are jam-packed with fun, learning, and community-building, and are a great way to get a taste of GIV.






Want to change the world? One of the most powerful ways to do it is through a socially responsible business or social enterprise! Discover what it takes to turn your ideas, inventions, and solutions into reality and be a successful social entrepreneur. You’ll examine business ideas for profitability, sustainability and social responsibility, judge their potential for success, and gain skills that every business owner needs while meeting budding entrepreneurs (and new friends!) from all over the state.


Care about education and social justice?  Want to be a force for change? Tour the world virtually with Simon Norton, Youth Programs Director for the School for International Training, to understand how formal learning happens and how youth and other voices are recognized around the world. Try your hand at curriculum design, pedagogy, and educational policy, and learn about ways to influence education for yourself and others.  If you’ve thought about being a teacher or being more involved in education in the future, this is the course for you.



When an epidemic is unfolding, scientists become detectives, using their superhero powers of cognition to save lives.  Join young science lovers from around the state and public health expert Sakshi Puri of the Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center in combining biology, chemistry, social psychology, medicine, statistics, data science and intuition to stop a global pandemic before it stops you! We recommend you complete biology before taking this course.



Is your superhero power turning fragility into great strength?

Try it out at this year’s Winter Weekend with Norwich faculty member Ed Schmeckpeper, where you’ll be equipped with the concepts, tools and materials to build structures resilient enough to withstand earthquakes or hurricanes.  Bring a willingness to try, fail and try again, and you’ll sharpen your maker mind. No prior experience needed.




Would you like learn how to make your writing more authentic, powerful, honest, and distinctive? Whether you write fiction, essays, poetry, or any other content, you’ll leave with tools, a reading list, and a new network of readers who will inspire you. We’ll talk about voice, honesty on the page, and editing, among other things. You’ll read the work of other renowned writers, and we’ll workshop each other’s pieces. Please bring an original piece of writing (or a few) to share.






Help solve some of the sky’s greatest mysteries using art!  We’re partnering with the Northern Skies Observatory to bring you the Governor’s Institute on AstroPhotography, a unique blend of art, graphic design, math, science, and information technology that captures and shapes cosmic images for use in science and art.  You’ll use professional-grade equipment to produce professional quality results. Past AstroPhotography students had their work featured in National Geographic!




America’s political landscape today is rife with difficult issues and divergent ideas, and substantive conversation is often lacking.  In this strand, you’ll join peers from around the state who share your passion for solid, well-reasoned thought and hone your ability to effectively articulate your point of view and reach a desirable resolution. Come ready to debate, discuss, dialogue – and to discover shared interests and connect with smart people who dare to engage.  All political points of view are welcome and treated with respect.



Hey thespians! So you’ve acted, stage managed, designed lighting, built sets, run sound – but do you know how to putting the whole picture together from start to finish? This is the place.  New-York theatre pro and Johnson State College faculty star Isaac Eddy is teaching this brand new class where you’ll explore everything from script analysis to casting to blocking to coaching actors. If you’ve been itching to take your theatre interests to the next level and meet other artistic teens, this is the place.  Prior experience with acting, backstage, film-making or writing is recommended.




Contrary to what you may have heard, music is NOT a universal language. Yet, like language, music is a universal human expression. And all people are living music machines…we were all born with a beat…our heartbeat!  Jacob Edgar, a GIV alum and ethnomusicologist who has built a thriving career as a global music explorer, is bringing together musicians and music lovers to explore ways that music has shaped our world. What does music tell us about history, culture, language, tradition and the fundamental nature of humanity? How has the popular music we listen to today been shaped by globalization, economics, religion, politics and fads? Bring in your music collection (vinyl, CD or digital all ok) and we’ll listen to our favorite music together, discover new music we never knew existed and learn how to hear the world. No previous musical experience necessary, just a passion and interest in music…and a heartbeat!



In 2016, a surgical robot cured a teenager of epilepsy and a deep sea diving robot discovered never-before-seen marine life. We can’t wait to see what your robots will accomplish! In this strand, you’ll dive hands-on and in-depth into robotics with a small group of like-minded Vermont high-schoolers and helped build a future we can only begin to imagine. Prior robotics experience is welcome but not required.