GIV Winter Weekends


Winter Weekend 2018 applications are now closed!  If you applied, watch your mail starting January 24th, when we’ll be sending out acceptance letters!

If you didn’t apply yet but are interested, watch this page over the next few days – we’ll be posting any spots that open and they will be filled first-come, first-serve.


February 9, 2018 – February 11, 2018

February 23, 2018 – February 25, 2018

Goddard College

Plainfield, Vermont106_0887


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 what GIV summer Institutes are like.

Winter Weekend I 

Winter Weekend II

February 9-11, 2018

February 23-25, 2018

Social Entrepreneurship Astrophotography 
Global Education & Youth Voice
Debate & National Issues
Disaster Health and Epidemiology
Directing Theatre
Design/Build Engineering
World Musicology
Creative Writing Workshop Neuroscience

* The Winter Weekend Robotics strand has been cancelled, but never fear! There’s a whole week of hands-on robotics offered at our summer Information Technology and Digital Media Institute.




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. This exploration of launching innovations to change the world will be taught by Tamie-Jo Dickinson, MBA, a business teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, and Gwen Pokalo, the Director of the Women’s Small Business Program.



What does education look like for young people around the world?  Should we reimagine schooling – and how? How do issues like poverty, girl discrimination, child labor, child marriage, conflict and refugees impact education? How serious are the perceived academic achievement gaps between girls and boys? Why is college so expensive? Tour the world virtually and experientially with Simon Norton, a global educator and Director of Youth Programs for the School for International Training. We’ll be exploring issues young people are facing with education and how youth voices are recognized around the world. We’ll Skype with high school age students in other countries to learn first-hand about their perspectives. You’ll learn facilitation and teaching techniques, analyze educational policy, and discover ways to influence education for yourself and others. If you care about education, think you might want to be a teacher or facilitator in the future, or just want to have fascinating conversations and broaden your perspectives, this is the Winter Weekend strand 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. This literary journey will be led by published writer and graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars Megan Galbraith.





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!



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!



Hey thespians! So you’ve acted, stage managed, designed lighting, built sets, run sound – but do you know how to put the whole production together from start to finish? This is the place to learn! 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.




*This strand is now closed, but there’s still time to apply to our other exciting topics!

America’s political landscape today is rife with difficult issues, deep divisions and divergent ideas, and substantive conversation is often lacking. Thirsty for respectful, civil, civic discourse on difficult issues?  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 listen – and to discover shared interests and connect with smart people who dare to engage.  We’ll be exploring lots of the hottest button political issues in the US in 2018.   All political points of view are welcome and treated with respect.



Come explore how our perception of the world around us emerges from neural activity at the molecular, cellular, and systems levels. We’ll delve into cutting edge research to learn how neural signals travel throughout the body and brain and conduct our own hands-on work using physiology, anatomy, and perceptual studies to understand the biology underlying how we think and feel. We recommend you take biology before completing this course. 




Sorry, this session is cancelled. But if robotics is your thing, check out our summer Information Technology and Digital Media Institute where you can dive into a whole new immersion strand in this topic!